Earth Partnership for Schools


Woodland restoration in a schoolyard is a long-term commitment. Trees grow slowly; woodland ecosystems take many years to develop fully. Nonetheless, woodland restoration is a process that involves much more than waiting for trees to grow. Each step provides opportunities for involving students and the school community in exciting new learning experiences.

Where does one start? The steps below give an overview of the process, with emphasis on important factors in planning a woodland restoration. Go to each site for more information and activities.

  • Study the Site : Measure total land area to restore; determine slope, aspect, soil type, drainage patterns, current vegetation, proximity to buildings, walkways, playgrounds, and ball fields
  • Select Woodland Type(s) to Restore : Choose appropriate woodland models for Wisconsin
  • Select Species (PDF 143KB): There are three layers in a forest: canopy layer, understory, and ground layer. Choose species for each layer, and determine the number of plants needed for the restoration.

The following are still under construction:

  • Define Project Goals and Objectives: Determine site goals based on existing conditions. For schools, define curriculum goals, articulate objectives and educational goals.
  • Determine a Planting and Implementation Plan: Techniques for woodland restoration involve two approaches; either recreating a woodland on land that is presently non-wooded, or restoring an existing, degraded woodland.
  • Recreating a Woodland on a Bare Site
  • Restoring a Woodland on a Wooded Site
  • Develop a Management Plan: Develop a monitoring program to pinpoint short-term and long-tern management activities.