Establish Community Resources and Support Groups
In addition to the OWLS committee, your project will benefit from the participation of an extended group of adults in the community who can serve as a support group. Such people may serve on the OWLS committee. They can attend meetings, meet with students in class, and assist on the site by providing knowledge, funds, materials, and even physical labor. Such individuals will be important resources and allies! They should be part of the technical support group. Here are a few example of people who can help.
They include representatives of forestry, wildlife, and soil conservation agencies; extension agents; state department of education curriculum consultants; land planners; and landscape architects or designers. Such people should be involved in initial planning stages. They can also assist when new projects are considered or existing projects expanded. These people will provide a wealth of valuable technical assistance and expertise. Your KDWPT district biologist is an excellent and helpful source of information and ideas.
Many businesses today are looking for ways to foster community pride and involvement. Such relationships can provide you with a variety of materials and services. Committee members and students could personally visit several business establishments and determine to what degree they could provide materials or technical assistance to the OWLS project. Remember that some businesses may prefer to give materials and labor rather then dollars. Be resourceful and cooperative.
Habitat improvement is community involvement. Ideas the public sees working successfully on the school grounds might inspire additional improvements in the community. Don't be limited by these ideas. Brainstorm with your students and committee members. Start with your needs and think of who might be able to help.
- Nursery: trees, shrubs, other plants
- Hardware Store: shovels, hand trowels, rakes
- Garden Shop/Feed Store: seeds, bird seed for feeders
- Lumber Company: scraps to build bird feeders, houses, and other shelters
- Utility Company: wood chips for trails and walks, poles for posts and trail borders
- Concrete Company: sand and cement for a wildlife tracking area
- Office Supply Store: paper for OWLS newsletter
Landscape Company: soil, plants, rocks, design assistance