Awards & Recognition

Project Learning Tree consistently receives prestigious awards and recognition from leading educational and community organizations. The following are just some that recognize our high quality, innovative environmental education materials and programs. Many PLT State Coordinators, workshop facilitators, and Outstanding Educators are also recognized with individual achievement awards at the state and national levels including, for example, the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators.



Awards for PLT’s Flagship Curriculum Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide

The new Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide was awarded the 2022 Skipping Stones Honor Award. Founded in 1988, Skipping Stones is a timely and timeless, award-winning resource in multicultural and global education that awards titles that “encourage a deeper awareness of nature, ecology, and diversity.” Honored titles help offer various perspectives, and help us understand our diverse cultures, societies, and their histories.

The Guide was reviewed as:

“Easy to read and filled with practical suggestions for creating lively lessons…useful for educators of all types.”
—Daemion Lee, Educator and former Editor of Skipping Stones

Read more about the many recent awards the Explore Your Environment Guide has received here


Tees & Me Awards

Trees & Me: Activities for Exploring Nature with Young Children was awarded the 2022 Academics’ Choice Smart Book Award in recognition of Mind-Building Excellence. Academic Choice awards help parents and educators validate claims such as “critical thinking” with qualified, scientific, and objective approach to evaluation. Product-appropriate volunteer reviewers, combined with the brainpower of the Board, determine the coveted winners. Entries are judged by category (i.e. mobile app, toy, book, website, magazine, etc.), subject area, and grade level, and evaluated based on standardized criteria rooted in constructivist learning theory. 


Learning® Magazine Teachers’ Choice Awards

Learning® Magazine also recognized PLT’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood as a 2011 Teachers’ ChoiceSM Award winner. And most recently, PLT’s Carbon & Climate curriculum for grades 6-8 received the 2020 Teachers’ ChoiceSM Award for the Classroom and PLT’s Energy in Ecosystems curriculum for grades 3-5 won the same award in 2019. The Teachers’ Choice Awards herald the very best in classroom-tested, teacher-recommended products. Every year, a nationwide panel of teacher-judges names the standouts in books, classroom supplies, educational games, software, websites, and supplemental materials that teachers need for their classroom.


“The Energy in Ecosystems by Project Learning Tree is a fantastic online resource for students in grades 3-5,” said one teacher who evaluated the curriculum. “There are many things I love about it, but I would rank the following as my favorite parts: it’s all online, it is super engaging, targets the NGSS standards which are how my school’s science standards are aligned, and it also integrates the Common Core standards for English and Math.”

A teacher who evaluated PLT’s Carbon & Climate curriculum said, “Project Learning Tree has a long history with me personally for quality materials. Going digital has really stepped up their game in presenting this valuable content; it makes everything engaging and accessible.”


NAAEE Outstanding Service by an Organization at the Global Level

North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) Award for Outstanding Service by an Organization at the Global Level was presented to PLT in 2006. According to Brian Day, then NAAEE’s Executive Director, “NAAEE’s award pays tribute to PLT’s 30 years of dedicated service and outstanding leadership in the field of environmental education, both in the United States and beyond.”

“This award points not only to the quality of PLT materials but also to a vast, dedicated network of educators, volunteers, and other partners who use PLT all over the world to teach environmental education,” said Kathy McGlauflin, former Executive Director of Project Learning Tree.


Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers Wins IPPY Award

We’re also proud that Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers was awarded a bronze medal in the 2021 Independent Publisher Book Awards contest in the category Education: Workbook/Resources. The IPPY Awards recognize excellence in independent publishing. 


Top 10 Sustainable Solution in the Field of Education

PLT’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood was selected in 2013 as one of the top ten sustainable solutions in the field of education by Sustainia, an international institute that identifies the most innovative and impactful projects from around the world that are at the forefront of a faster transformation to a sustainable future. Each year, Sustainia selects 100 leading solutions in the fields of education, transportation, energy, resources, health, and more that are leading the way in environmental, social, and economic approaches towards sustainability, and for their potential to scale up across markets and societies.

According to Sustania, “teaching children to understand and value nature is vital to raising the next generation of environmental stewards. Project Learning Tree connects children to nature, develops critical-thinking, and encourages students to take action to improve their environment.”


Parents’ Choice Recommended Award

PLT’s Energy & Me CD won a 2002 Parents’ Choice Recommended Award and a Children’s Music Web Award from the Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys. These awards are internationally recognized and respected icons of quality.


Straight “A’s” in Environmental Education

PLT received “straight A’s” in environmental education for elementary and high school students from the California Department of Education in 2002. The department conducted a rigorous, criteria-based review of environmental education supplemental programs and PLT received the highest scores possible.