Sustainable Urban Design: Educator’s Toolkit for Project-Based Learning, page 5 of 20

A student uses clay to design a mock-up of a rain garden
A student uses clay to design a mock-up of a rain garden on school grounds. © Britta Culbertson/TNC

Introduction: Getting Started

Before embarking on a green infrastructure project with your students, it’s important to consider what you hope to get out of it. Is your ultimate goal to have students work through the design phase and develop a proposal to present to other students or stakeholders? Or do you hope to carry the project all the way through to implementation? This toolkit can support all aspects of this process.

Questions to ask before getting started:

  • What is the objective of the project? Which real world challenge will it address?
  • How will students be authentically involved throughout the project?
  • What is our budget and what are fundraising sources? Look for grant opportunities here.
  • Which project is right for our location? Check out the Quick Quide to Projects for options.
  • What type of equipment will we need?
  • What are the safety concerns around this project?
  • Who are the stakeholders that will be affected by this project?
  • Who are the community stakeholders that need to be involved?
  • Who can help with implementation, fundraising?
  • How will the project be sustainable in the long-term?
  • Are there any legal issues or permitting processes to work through? What kinds of permission do we need? Successful projects always include feedback and buy-in from all parties with the necessary permissions in place.

Lesson Plans and Other Resources to Guide Students in Choosing a Project

The following resources appear to be Seattle specific, but can be used nationally.