Bringing environmental stewardship to school
Schools offer a tremendous opportunity to impact water quality and wildlife in the region, while educating students on the school grounds. Through Conservation@School we provide resources on the benefits of native plants, ways to conserve the rainwater that falls on their land, proper management of invasive species, and how to reduce chemical use and watering on school grounds. These practices not only help preserve and restore our natural environment, but they can drastically reduce maintenance costs while providing shelter for beneficial wildlife and beautiful outdoor spaces for the entire school community.
Those who employ these principles can earn Conservation@School certification, receive a sign recognizing their efforts and one-on-one advice about ways to make an even more positive environmental impact on their property. There is a one-time fee of $35 for certification, which includes a one-year membership to The Land Conservancy of McHenry County.
Steps to Certification Getting Started
Go Native! The use of native plants is key to any environmentally friendly landscape. The deep roots of native plants reach far down into the ground, firmly rooting soil and reducing erosion, and also absorbing rain where it falls to carry it back down to our groundwater supply, filtering it as it goes.
Save Every Drop! Why spend money and drinkable water on irrigation efforts when what you need literally falls from the sky? Rain barrels and larger scale rainwater harvesting can capture the rainwater that falls on your property so you can put it to use and keep it from running off, collecting pollutants as it goes and carrying them into our rivers and streams.
Cut Back on Chemicals. Work to reduce or eliminate the use of fertilizers, weed treatments, salt and other chemicals, which are harmful to birds, butterflies and other two and four-legged visitors, and also to fish and aquatic life when they reach our waterways.
Wage War on Invasives! Non-native species compete with and often choke out more beneficial and well adapted native species. Unleash any workplace stress on the nearest garlic mustard, buckthorn or honeysuckle!
Create a “Conservation Ethic” within your school’s curriculum. We can provide local resources for developing an environmental education curriculum to use on your school grounds.
Schedule a Site Visit
- Fill out the checklist online or print out your own copy and submit at site visit or mail to The Land Conservancy, P.O. Box 352, Woodstock, IL 60098 Attn: C@S.
a. Payment can be made ahead of time online(link to C@S payment page) with credit card, over the phone with credit card, or in-person at the time of the site visit with cash or check.
b. The program fee is $35, which includes a certification sign, the opportunity for employee and/or student “environmental lunch-and-learn” presentations, notification of school yard environmental grants, and a one-year membership to The Land Conservancy of McHenry County.
- Qualified schools will have the opportunity to receive a sign signifying their participation in the program and environmentally- friendly landscape.
Prairiewood Elementary School in Woodstock. McHenry County’s first certified Conservation@School participant