Features to Encourage
Observation & Discovery

Remember the line from the movie Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come”?  Unfortunately, that’s not always necessarily true.  Many a schoolyard project has failed because it wasn’t designed to encourage students, staff and visitors to use it. Whether you’ve planted a garden for wildlife, installed a wetland, grown a forest or meadow, built an outdoor classroom or nature play area, or you’re just in the planning and design phase of a project, incorporating elements to encourage people to utilize and interact with your project and the natural world is crucial. Learn more about adding features like trails, seating, weather stations, observation platforms, sensory elements, nature play & wildlife features and more to encourage observation and discovery by student and adults!

Before You Start

Review: Project Planning Basics

Design and Preparation

Review: Project Design & Preparation Basics


Review: Project Implementation Basics

Install Features to Encourage Observation & Discovery

Also See: Outdoor Classrooms, Labs & Habitats

Also See: Create a Nature Play Area

Also See: Physical Fitness & Outdoor Time


Review: Project Maintenance Basics

Using Your Project

Overview: Using Your Project

Fostering Outdoor Observation Skills-Citizen Science K-8 (AFWA)

Eco School Schoolyard Habitats Pathways Lessons & Resources

Eco School National Standards & Curriculum Alignment

Project Learning Tree Curriculum Offerings

Eco Schools Green STEM Initiative

Sharing Your Project

Overview: Sharing Your Project

Resource Center

Project Resource Library: Learn More!
Bay Backpack Teaching Resources Search Engine
EPA Learning & Teaching About the Environment (awards, resources, more)