Step 1: Plant Before You Plant:

  1. documentation showing support from administrators and key players (1A)
  2. documentation showing a visit from a New Jersey Watershed Ambassador who provided a lesson about the importance of a watershed and the benefits of a Jersey-Friendly garden (1B)
  3. state the purpose and functionality of your Jersey-Friendly garden (1C)
  4. submit a student or class sketch or map of your schoolyard including its natural and man-made features and areas where not to dig (1D), as well as the light conditions in the schoolyard (1E)
  5. submit a “zoomed-in” sketch of your garden site – your Jersey-Friendly Garden Map – including its natural and manmade features, as well as the direction the sunlight shines over the garden throughout the day. Indicate the number of hours your garden receives full sun, partial sun or shade, and where these light conditions exist (1F)

Sustainable Jersey – Outdoor Classroom (Completion of this Sustainable Jersey for Schools Action can substitute for Step 1: Plan Before you Plant 1A -1C. for your Jersey-Friendly Yards Certification Program for School. 

Submit your Sustainable Jersey – Outdoor Classroom paperwork in lieu of requirements for 1A-1F.  

Step 2: Start With Healthy Soil:

  1. documentation of the results of your soil tests: texture, soil moisture, pH, nutrient levels (2A)
  2. include notation of your soil conditions (texture, soil moisture, pH and nutrients) on your Jersey-Friendly Garden Plan (See 1E) (We may want to lump everything we want on the JF Garden Plan into one request on the main Checklist, but keep all request under the individual Steps, on the main documentation.)
  3. Submit a collection of drawings or photos of gardens and/or plants that you and your students find inspiring (2B). Describe how these inspirational plants and gardens connect and support the purpose and function (refer to 1C) of your Jersey-Friendly garden.
  4. Provide a copy of your Jersey-Friendly plant list retrieved from the Jersey-Friendly Plant Database. (2C) Provide a list of plants you also intend to use that were not found in the Jersey-Friendly Yards Plant Database.

Step 3: Water Wisely:

  1. Provide a copy of your 3 lesson plans about water: water quality, water conservation, and water and wildlife. Include samples of student learning outcomes. Provide photos of students engaged in your lessons. Use this example as a guide. 

Based on your selection, submit one of the following:

  1. Along with the required documents submitted for Step 1: Plan Before You Plant and Step 2: Start With healthy Soil, explain why you and your students chose to create a rain garden at your school, and how it will support water conservation. Submit photos of your rain garden. Use this example as a guide. 
  2. Submit a copy of your rain barrel calculations, as outlined in 3C. Submit a photo of your rain barrel(s). Use this example as a guide. 
  3. Submit a copy of your Rain Barrel Challenge Entry Form and a photo of your completed rain barrel. Use this example as a guide. 

Green Infrastructure Assessment and Plan and Green Infrastructure Installation

(Completion of both of these two Sustainable Jersey for Schools Actions can substitute for 3B, 3C, or 3D. Submit your Sustainable Jersey – Green Infrastructure Assessment and Plan, and Green Infrastructure Installation paperwork in lieu of requirements for 3B, 3C, or 3D.  

Step 4: Fertilize Less:

  1. Provide responses to the questions posed in 4A.
  • Based on your soil test results, is there an adequate amount of each of the macro and micronutrients in your soil, not enough, or too much? 
  • What types and brands of fertilizers are applied by your school grounds crew?
  • How much fertilizer is used?
  • Where on school grounds is fertilizer used?
  • When is the fertilizer applied? How often? 
  • Discuss with your school grounds crew why they shouldn’t apply fertilizers if they are not needed. 

Responses to 4B are optional.

Ready to Submit?
Request Upload Link for Required Documentation

When you have completed the certification steps for each level, please submit this form to request a custom link to upload your documents.