For Land Partners

Once the connection is established with a teacher that is within 150 km, the land partner ‘adopts’ the classroom in a way that is meaningful, beneficial, and possible.

In a trade for space and time the land partner receives hundreds of potential helpers and apprentices with which to share knowledge, wisdom, and experience.

Our partnerships are a multi-year relationship built between the teacher and the land partner. Each partnership is unique based on the strengths of the individuals involved, the ecology of the land, and the biodiversity goals.

OSOF supports the planting of:

All of these types of plantings are accepted as long as they are primarily native species (other than the food forests, but they too must include native wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs).

OSOF supports the partnerships through:

  • Paying for student transportation
  • Providing plants and seeds
  • Providing grow lights to the classes that want to grow native species for their partners
  • Facilitating meetings
  • Organizing site visits and planting days
  • Advising on curriculum connections
  • Providing guidance on site prep, planting designs, and species selections

Frequently Asked Questions:

How large of an area gets planted each year?

This depends on the type of planting, the age of the students, and the amount of site preparation involved. We have planted an area as small as 150 square feet and as large as 1000 square feet, as few as 2 trees to as many as 800 wildflowers and grasses. Ideally, these plantings are added on to each year.

What is the role of the Land Partner?

To meet the students before the land visit, annually, to start building the relationships and to share about the land and your connection to it. To aid in site preparation and maintenance (primarily watering if it is needed). Some native prairie wildflowers and grasses have been shown to survive with one initial deep watering only. To ensure the students have a clean and safe place to use the washroom if the students are coming out for extended days or over night trips.

What is the best way to prep the planting site?

This depends on the type of planting. We have had success with tilling the area, manually turning the soil and removing weeds, and planting straight into whatever is growing there already and mulching. We also encourage prepping the site a year in advance using sheet mulch or tarps.

Does OSOF help with maintenance of the plantings?

Currently, some classrooms make part of their visit about taking care of and monitoring the previous year’s planting. In the future, we hope to have summer students hired to visit each planting site at least once during the summer.

What do you do about weeds?

It is often more challenging in a rural area to source large amounts of mulch that don’t have weed seeds in it already. When mulch is accessible, we encourage using a lot for the trees and shrubs. The prairie wildflowers and grasses don’t require as much mulch. We plant densely to try to avoid the establishment of other species.