Adopt-A-Section of the D&L Trail – School Program Resource Page

Delaware & Lehigh - Adopt-A-Section of the D&L Trail – School Program Resource Page

Finding opportunities for groups of school children to volunteer can be challenging. Adopting a section of the D&L Trail may be just what your school is looking for. By adopting a section of trail, students will learn the value of hard work, the effects of littering, environmental stewardship, community engagement, and the joys of spending time in nature. 

Groups can be large or small. The schedule is very flexible and can be built around the needs of your group. The area you adopt is largely up to you and should be close to home.

Basic Requirements for all school volunteer teams:

  • We require an adult advisor (over 18 years of age and approved by the school) to represent each school group, serve as the DLNHC’s primary point of contact, and attend each clean-up event.
  • The adult advisor must take part in our online training and fill out the necessary paperwork to start the adoption process. This process is frequently followed by an in-person visit to your adopted site with a staff member of the DLNHC.
  • Students must receive in-class training. The resources for that training are provided by the DLNHC and can be found on this page.
  • There must be a commitment to one clean-up per month, at least 9 months out of the year.
  • Each clean-up needs to be recorded using our online Trail Tender Reporting Form.
  • Schools must follow their schools’ protocols set for school outings or activities.
  • Each year, the school must recommit through communication with DLNHC staff. If a new advisor takes over, they must go through online training.

Steps for Adoption:

In an effort to be as accommodating as possible, we do not require schools to attend our bi-yearly in-person training. Instead, we offer online resources available on this webpage. When possible, our staff can meet your school group at your first clean-up to provide your adoption supplies and review the program policies and best practices in a brief in-person event. Therefore, it is mandatory that you follow through with the steps listed below to get your Adopt-A-Section of D&L Trail School Chapter off of the ground.

Steps to launch your chapter of the Adopt-A-Section of the D&L Trail program.

  1. Contact DLNHC staff to set up an adoption call and choose your mile. Reach out to the Education Manager to note your interest at [email protected].
  2. Use the adoption contract email from the Education Manager (to be sent after your adoption call) to complete the Adoption Contract Form and “claim your mile.”
  3. An adult advisor must complete the online training module.
  4. Organize your group of students. We do not need a list of names, but we do need to know how many children you are including on your list and what you think your average number of participants at each cleanup will be. 
  5. Show the students the student training slide show and discuss your adopted section of the D&L Trail.
  6. Work with DLNHC Staff to make a connection with the local trail landowner
  7. Choose the date of your first clean-up and coordinate with DLNHC Staff to coordinate the pick up of adoption supplies and timing for in-person review of program policies with DLNHC.
  8. Complete your first clean-up and submit the online reporting form, including the number of students who participated, the length of the event, and the bags of trash collected
    1. Reporting Form
    2. Trail Tender Volunteer Page
  9. Repeat the clean-up and reporting process each month as feasible throughout the school year!

We are excited that you have decided to volunteer with our organization and help your students realize the joy and importance of volunteering outdoors. We look forward to our new connection with your school. 

Resource Library

Adoption Contract Form

This form is to be completed AFTER you have contacted our Education Manager and you have settled on a mile of D&L Trail to adopt. Do not fill this form out until you know the mile that you are adopting and the relevant landowner information sent to you via email from the Education Manager. [email protected]

  • Do not fill this form out until you know the mile that you are adopting and the relevant landowner information sent to you via email from the Education Manager. [email protected]

  • In case of group emergency, please list the best alternate school contact (principal, nurse, secretary):

  • By checking “I Agree” below, on behalf of (school listed above), I grant permission for DLNHC and sponsoring organizations to use workgroup photographs, film, and videos of the group for promotional or other uses either associated with the project or sponsoring organizations, including use on an organizational website (s). I have ensured all group members have a photo agreement signed with the school or district the group is associated with, and it will be under the group leader’s discretion that any group members who cannot be photographed for any reason will not be included in photos.
  • By checking “I Agree” below, I agree that I am willingly volunteering to participate in a DLNHC project and as the group leader for the Adopt-A-Section school program. I agree to ensure the volunteer group uses work tools safely according to the instructions received. I agree to take responsibility for group behavior. I agree to ensure the group and individual members only perform work that they are comfortable doing and that I feel can be accomplished safely. I agree that the group is wearing clothes and shoes that will provide protection according to the work conditions. On behalf of (school listed above), I hereby release all sponsoring organizations, and DLNHC employees, from any and all claims that may arise from or result in any expenses, personal injury, loss or damage incurred to me or by me during the groups’ participation in DLNHC projects.