North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Stormwater and Runoff Pollution banner
Grade Your Schoolyard
What is your school doing to protect and conserve water? Use the following questions to find out. When you are done, make some suggestions for how your school could improve. What could you and your class do to help?
Your Schoolyard Illustration
Runoff and Erosion

1. What type of surface do your school’s downspouts pour onto?

a. patch of rocks, vegetation, or mulch - 10
b. on pavement
or eroding ground - 5
c. on ground near waterway without buffer - 0

2. How much of your schoolyard is covered with an impervious surface?
a. less than 10% - 10
b. 10%-25% - 5
c. more than 25% - 0
3. Walkways where plants can’t grow are covered with...
a. a pervious surface like wood chips - 10
b. an impervious surface - 5
c. bare ground - 0
4. Look for patches of bare soil and signs of erosion, like areas where rainwater has carved out ditches or soil has splashed onto windows or walls. The schoolyard has..
a. very little erosion and bare patches - 10
b. several areas showing erosion - 5
c. large bare patches and eroded areas - 0
Vegetation

1. How much of the grounds are regularly mowed?
a. less than 50% - 10
b. 50%-80% - 5
c. over 80% - 0
2. Land around where water drains and collects (like storm drains) is...
a. covered with trees and shrubs - 10
b. covered with unmowed grass - 7
c. covered with mowed grass - 3
d. bare soil or pavement - 0
3. How is the grass fertilized?
a. with grass clippings - 10
b. with lawn fertilizer according to soil tests - 7
c. with lawn fertilizer according to instructions - 3
d. lawn fertilizer randomly applied - 0
4. Generally, how many trees and bushes are on the school ground?
a. many trees and bushes - 10
b. trees and bushes dot the landscape - 5
c. few or no trees and bushes - 0
Education

1. How many storm drains are labeled to let people know they go straight to waterway?
a. all - 10
b. a few - 5
c. none - 0
2. How many ways are there to learn about water quality at your school? (posters, books, etc.)
a. 3 or more - 10
b. 1 or 2 - 5
c. none - 0
3. How much litter do you see in the schoolyard?
a. none - 10
b. some - 5
c. a lot - 0
Transportation
1. How many people work at your school? How many cars are in the parking lot?
a. 50% fewer cars than people - 10
b. 25% fewer cars than people - 5
c. one car per person - 0
2. Are there bike racks at your school? Are they used?
a. bike racks full of bikes - 10
b. bike racks with a few bikes - 5
c. no bike rack - 0
3. Is there any sort of reward or encouragement for teachers or students to walk to school, ride their bikes, carpool, or take public transportation?
a. yes - 10
b. no - 0

Total Score_________ (possible 140)
0 - 80 Needs Improvement
80 - 120 Better Than Average
120 - 140 Excellent
Text adapted from N. C. Coastal Federation Coastal Connections