Yellow River
Trees for Kids

The Trees for Kids grant program serves to educate K-12 and college students in Iowa about the importance of trees through tree planting events at schools and on public land. Grant recipients are awarded $1,000-$5,000 per project to purchase trees and mulch from Iowa nurseries. DNR staff members provide planting, mulching, and watering demonstrations and offer guidance to students as they plant their trees. Applications are available for spring and fall.

Spring 2018 Application Materials:
Trees for Kids Application and Instructions
Nursery Notification Letter (Required Supplement)
i-Tree Design: Benefits Calculation and Project Map (Required Supplement)

Free Seedlings!

As part of the Trees for Kids grant, schools and public entities in Iowa are eligible to receive free packets of up to 200 bare-root seedlings! Seedlings are grown from native seed at the State Forest Nursery in Ames. Packets consist of up to eight species selected from a wide variety of hardwood, conifer and shrub offerings (subject to availability). Applying organizations do NOT have to participate in the Trees for Kids program to receive seedlings!

Spring 2018 Seedling Application

Trees for Kids is administered by Iowa DNR and funded by Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy Company, Black Hills Energy, ITC Holdings Corporation, Trees Forever, Iowa Woodland Owners Association, and Iowa Bankers Association. For more information please contact Evan Miller, Trees for Kids program coordinator, at (515) 725-8455.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an environmental education program for K-12 students that teaches about trees, forestry, the interrelationships between organisms and their environment, and other ecological concepts. Over 10,000 Iowa educators and youth leaders have participated in PLT workshops throughout the program's history. For more information, or to sign up for a workshop, please visit the PLT Homepage.

Sample PLT Activities:
Charting Diversity
Field, Forest, and Stream
Web of Life

Suggested Activity Lists
Early Grades (K-4) Suggested Activity by Activity
Early Grades (K-4) Suggested Activity by Social Studies Standard
Early Grades (K-4) Suggested Activity by Science Standard
Middle Grades (5-8) Suggested Activity by Activity
Middle Grades (5-8) Suggested Activity by Science Standard
Middle Grades (5-8) Suggested Activity by Social Studies Standard
Secondary (9-12) Suggested Activity by Activity
Secondary (9-12) Suggested Activity by Social Studies Standard
Secondary (9-12) Suggested Activity by Science Standard

PLT Secondary Modules

PLT secondary environmental education modules meet common components of national education reform by using the constructivist approach to learning, whole language teaching, cooperative learning, problem solving, and authentic assessments. The modules are intended for grades 9-12 but can be adapted for older audiences as well.

Available on-line:
Exploring Environmental Issues: Biodiversity
Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Risk - Biotechnology

Modules in print:
Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests
Exploring Environmental Issues: Municipal Solid Waste
Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Risk
Global Connections: Forests of the World
Exploring Environmental Issues: Places We Live

Exploring Iowa’s Natural Resources blog
Learn fun ways to incorporate natural resources into your classroom. A different environmental topic is featured each week.

Forest News
Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood

Developed with preschool educators and early childhood specialists, this guide is designed for educators who work with children ages 3 to 6. It offers over 130 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration. Topics include exploring nature with five senses, meeting neighborhood trees, and experiencing trees through the seasons. An accompanying CD features music from children's musician Billy B. Brennan that encourages children to sing, dance, and move.

Activities adhere to the guidelines set forth in the national standards for early childhood education – NAEYC Criteria for Curriculum, Head Start Child Outcomes Framework and the NAAEE Early Childhood Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence. Additional correlations have been drafted to Iowa Early Childhood program and curriculum standards – Quality Preschool Program Standards, Iowa Early Learning Standards, and the Iowa Core Curriculum.

Contact: (515)725-8456

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