Yellow River
Celebrating 150 Years of Arbor Day

National Arbor Day is April 29, 2022. Arbor Day was started in 1872 in Nebraska City, Nebraska. It is estimated that over 1 million trees were planted on that day. People from all over the country have enjoyed planting trees with friends and family to help make our world a little bit better, one tree at a time.

Many people plant trees in dedication of someone special, to help make a neighborhood more beautiful, or to simply have an opportunity to help something grow. Whatever the reason, Arbor Day is a special day to recognize and remember one of our greatest treasures - trees.

Use these resources to help you celebrate trees near you throughout the year. 

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 up to $2,500 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. Education requirements are different this year due to the pandemic. Please read over recommendations in the application.

Priority counties are: Pottawattamie, Cass, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont and Page, but applications are accepted across the state.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2022.

For more information please contact Gabriele Edwards, Trees for Kids program coordinator, at 515-822-1031.

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

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: 515-822-1031

Project Learning Tree Resources