Department of Public Works
Generation Earth for Teachers: Environmental Education and Resources in Los Angeles County

Environmental Service Learning Project Ideas

  • Partner with a marine science center or local river organization and provide consistent water quality testing during the school year.
  • Plant trees on your campus.
  • Write a public policy outlining watershed best management practices and present it to the administration, faculty and/or at a student assembly.
  • Examine household products and the hazardous chemicals they contain. Start an awareness campaign and/or hold an event where students can make their own non-toxic alternatives.
  • Design flyers, brochures or posters about the ways community members can help prevent pollution and distribute them in the neighborhood.
  • Create a waste survey for students and community members to fill out. Compile the results and launch a public awareness campaign based on your findings.
  • Organize an e-waste collection drive at your school.
  • Plant a community garden at your school using native and other drought-tolerant plants.
  • Hold a composting workshop on your campus to show how gardeners can use organic waste instead of chemical fertilizers. Implement composting on your campus.
  • Create a comic book or other artwork illustrating an environmental issue on your campus that can be printed and passed out to students.
  • Clean up a vacant lot or other site used for illegal dumping in your neighborhood.
  • If water quality problems are the result of off-campus practices, write a letter to the principal, mayor and/or city representatives to provide ideas about resolving the problem. Follow up with them to see what can be done to address it.
  • Start a recycling awareness campaign by collecting and displaying items that could be recycled but are currently being discarded in campus trash dumpsters.
  • Organize a lunchtime student litter patrol.
  • Make posters on good water quality management tips and post them in classrooms and sites around the community. Create a way to measure the effectiveness of the posters.
  • Start a recycling program for paper, cans, glass, etc. At the start, check the amount of large trash bins filled each week by the school, and then create a measurable goal to monitor and reduce that amount each month. Students may separate, weigh, and recycle trash for cash, generating money for school activities.
  • Work with school facility managers to remove concrete and add more trees and grassy areas to your campus to absorb water and prevent it from flowing into storm drains.
  • Hard soil doesn't absorb rainwater. Improve soil quality at the school by using mulch or another alternative such as ground cover in key areas. Monitor the results of your work.
  • After examining the flow of water on your campus, obtain permission to stencil signs next to storm drains warning people not to dump litter into them.
  • Adopt a stream, river or local park. Clean up a portion and help maintain it. Figure out where the main sources of trash and pollution originate and work to alleviate the problem. Create photo or video essays documenting what you find and share them with the campus/community.

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