The Clean and Beautiful Schools Program was launched by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation in the Spring of 2000 to support and encourage the improvement and overall maintenance of public and private elementary school grounds and facilities in Oklahoma County. Schools occupy a tremendous amount of public and private land and the appearance of school grounds is a significant factor in how the surrounding neighborhood and community, visitors and students perceive and value the quality of education and quality of life in that area. All 168 public and private elementary schools in Oklahoma County are eligible to participate in the program.
Goals of the Clean and Beautiful Schools Program are:
1. Raise awareness of beautification within the community
2. Initiate the improvement of neighborhoods by first improving schools
3. Teach community pride and stewardship of the environment and cleanliness to school-age children
4. Establish and sustain community support and interest in beautification efforts
The program provides schools with an organizational structure, professional landscape guidance, an aerial photograph of the school, an overall beautification plan and funding for a portion of the initial plan. Each school that participates must involve students, teachers, school administrators, school district maintenance staff, parents, neighbors, and representatives from the community and nearby businesses in the creation and implementation of the beautification plan.
To date, nearly 100 elementary schools have participated in Clean and Beautiful Schools. In addition, more than 20 metro area middle schools and high schools have adopted the Clean and Beautiful Schools Program standards and have obtained funding through the Margaret Annis Boys Trust at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation to implement their beautification efforts. The Oklahoma City Community Foundation and its Clean and Beautiful Schools Program has proven to be an innovative and inspirational project that will benefit the community for years to come.
Oklahoma City Community Foundation provides oversight through a staff landscape architect and support staff. Additional participants involve local landscape designers, local nurserymen and horticulturists.
- Participating schools establish a BeautificationCommittee with representatives of administration,teachers, parents, neighborhoods, community members andgrounds maintenance staff.
- Beautification Committee has first meeting withlandscape architect and landscape designer for siteanalysis, discussion of beautification needs,prioritization of needs, future site improvements, studentinvolvement, discussion of litter control and plan,maintenance issues and plan, funding needs and sources.
- An overall campus plan is developed from committeediscussions that address current and future beautificationneeds, safety issues, use of paved areas, vehicular andpedestrian traffic, public space use and common areas.
- Second Beautification Committee meeting with landscapearchitect and landscape designer to view and discuss plan,revisit priorities and plan implementation.
- Beautification Committee meets again, independent ofOCCF staff, to formalize priorities and commitments of school, district, PTA and outline student involvement aswell as neighborhood and business participation.
- School then submits financial request definingpriorities, commitments and involvement to the OklahomaCity Community Foundation for implementation of specificimprovements.
- School district grounds maintenance must commit tocontinuing education offered by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation consisting of three one-half days of maintenancenetworking focusing on key maintenance and grounds issuesidentified by participants.
- Schools must commit to adopt the Clean and Beautiful Schools Basic Levels of Maintenance Standards.
- Schools must provide an "Annual Evaluation"and assist the Community Foundation in tracking thesuccess of the program over the following five years.
Once a school agrees to participate and is selected by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, a foundation representative will schedule a meeting with the committee to talk about beautification goals and obstacles and to tour school grounds. Following this initial meeting, a beautification plan will be developed that could be used as a guide for improvements such as the addition of trees, general enhancements of the campus and specialized projects such as butterfly gardens or playground equipment. From this plan, the committee - with the assistance of the Community Foundation -- can pursue specific projects and funding.
As part of the Clean and Beautiful Schools program, the Community Foundation assisted in the development of a month-by-month maintenance calendar that is particularly applicable to heavily used public land such as school grounds. You may access this document below:
For More Information
The staff of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation is interested in helping organizations develop proposals for the Clean and Beautiful Schools Program. Please contact Brian Dougherty at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation office, 405.235.5603, for more information.
(Return to the top).