Preparing for a Restoration Trip

Reserving the Date for Your Restoration Trip

Restoration trip dates are reserved on a first-submitted, first reserved basis. Choice dates fill quickly. Registration opened in AUGUST, 2015. To ensure fairness in this process, registration forms will not be accepted before this date. To reserve your date, complete page 2 of the reservation form and email or fax it to Pam. She will confirm receipt of the form, contact your restoration partner to set the date, and then confirm the chosen date with you and your restoration partner. This process can take as long as two weeks – sometimes longer depending on Pam’s LSU responsibilities.

Start Time

Restoration sites have been advised that schools will arrive at the site around 10 a.m. If your school day starts early and you want to arrive earlier than 10:00 a.m., please tell Dr. Blanchard so that the restoration site manager and the media can be alerted. Planting takes about 2-2½ hours. You are most welcome to work out additional time to tour the site, participate in an additional educational activity with the site manager, and/or to have a picnic lunch at the site.

Permission Slips

Please use your normal school permission slip for field trips. You will retain these forms.

Photo Releases

New photo releases are required each year. Please bring all signed photo releases (Page 3 of the Reservation Form) for your students and give these to the Coastal Roots staff on the day of your restoration trip. These will be retained by LSU. Please complete Page 4 of the Reservation Form (the list of students not allowed to appear in photos) and paperclip/staple their forms to this page. This should be at the top of your release form stack . This will facilitate the process of clearing photos for use in newspaper releases and on the Coastal Roots website, newsletters, journal articles, and other related materials.

TIP: If you have more than one student that cannot be photographed, please assign them to the same planting team(s) so that we can easily separate photos with these students in them for publication purposes. We will still take pictures of these students, but will not use these students’ pictures in publications.


Proper adult supervision is required for safety. We strongly advise you to solicit parent chaperones for the day of the trip (see recommended ratios below). Because parking is often very limited at restoration sites, please encourage your chaperones to carpool.

  • At the elementary level, a ratio of 1 parent to 6-8 students is desirable.
  • At the middle/high school level, a ratio of 1 parent to 10-12 students is desirable.

Prior to Restoration Day

Create planting teams

Create planting teams of 3-4 students prior to your trip. Each team should have a student that is assigned one of the following duties: shovel/dibble master (digger); tray minder (tray transporter and puts plant in hole), and quality controller (makes sure the plants are planted in the correct location, planted correctly and that the hole is closed properly). We will have fertilizer this year, so a growth expert (fertilizer) position is also recommended. Hopefully you can think of better names for each position. When students get off the buses at the site, please have them stand in their restoration teams. We have approximately 25 dibbles for your students to use. Coastal Roots staff will bring the shovels, dibbles, plant bags, and fertilizer. We will also show students how to plant the trees once we are at the site.

Review information on your tree/grass species with your students

Students will likely be interviewed by media at the planting. It would be wise to review with students what type of tree they are growing in their can yards and why this type of tree is needed at the site. Check the LSU Coastal Roots website for information on each of the trees/grasses that are being planted this year. This one-page document has interesting and useful information on species.

Organize your seedlings

Consolidate your seedlings onto the fewest number of trays in the can yard. This will make it easier to move the trays. If you have roots hanging out of the bottom of the yellow cells, take some scissors or garden clippers and clip off extra roots. Be sure to keep your trees well-watered prior to the planting day to reduce wilting.

Make a final count of the seedlings you will be bringing on the trip to plant (count each species separately if you have more than one species – see the Restoration Trip Reservation form (Link is above), Page 2.

Line up coolers for student lunches/drinks

Many schools plan a picnic lunch on the day of their restoration trip. Make sure students have adequate drinks during the day.

Restroom availability

Restrooms are not generally very close to planting sites. Be sure you have adequate chaperones on hand in the case that students need to be driven/escorted to the restrooms.

Checklist of materials to bring on the Restoration Trip Day


  • permission slips (you retain these)
  • photo release copies in a folder for Dr. Blanchard
  • your digital camera
  • your cell phone and emergency phone numbers to school, etc.
  • hand wipes, extra water for washing hands
  • garbage bags (for muddy shoes, trash, etc.)
  • toilet paper, other emergency supplies


  • sack lunch
  • cold drink
  • bug spray
  • boots/extra pair of shoes and socks