The Colorado State Forest Service is accepting applications from all Project Learning Tree-trained educators to receive free seedling trees from its Fort Collins nursery. Interested teachers can apply to receive seedlings for planting projects on public or private land, or as awards to students for events and contests.
The purpose of the Free Seedlings for Educators Program, which is funded through a grant from the American Forest Foundation and Project Learning Tree, is to encourage Colorado teachers to become certified by PLT while promoting student involvement in tree-planting and forest health projects.
“Free seedlings have never been available in the past, so this opportunity should encourage more Colorado educators to get certified by Project Learning Tree,” said Shawna Crocker, CSFS Project Learning Tree coordinator. “Educators can then put their PLT certification to work by engaging their students in an environmental education activity or planting project using the seedlings.”
Trees will be available for spring or fall plantings in quantities of up to 200 per teacher. Applicants may also request a $100 stipend to help pay for additional project expenses. CSFS district foresters will be available to offer awardees advice on species selection, planting methods and long-term tree care.
Applicants must agree to promote proposed planting projects in their community and attend a PLT workshop before receiving their seedling tree shipment. Any Colorado PLT workshop offered throughout the year qualifies; the next workshop will be offered March 29 and additional upcoming trainings are listed online at the Colorado PLT website. Applicants who have attended a workshop in the last ten years are not required to attend another.
For additional information, to register for a workshop or to obtain an application packet, go to coloradoplt.org.
Completed applications must be submitted by e-mail and received no later than 4 p.m. March 15. Applications will be reviewed by a CSFS committee, and successful applicants will be notified by March 20.
Project Learning Tree provides professional development for educators and uses the forest as a “window” on the world to increase students’ understanding of our environment and to help develop their ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues. The Colorado program has been coordinated by the Colorado State Forest Service since 1984, training 500-800 educators per year in workshops around the state. In turn, Colorado teachers reach approximately 15,000 students annually.