When certain people decide how to use a particular piece of land, the decision can involve and affect many people in many ways. Therefore, groups must establish processes for planning and resolving conflicts about land use. In this simulation, students will develop a plan to address a land-use issue. While this activity focuses on land use, the process can be adapted to examine other issues in your community.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:
The Heritage Oak Dilemma
Spanish Student Page(s):
El dilema del Roble Heritage
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
The State of the World’s Forests 2020
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has monitored the world’s forests at 5 to 10-year intervals since 1946. The State of the World’s Forests 2020–Forests, Biodiversity and People, examines the contributions of forests, and of the people who use and manage them, to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. For the first time, this edition is a joint effort between two United Nations entities: FAO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
In addition, this interactive report contains the main findings of the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2020 (FRA 2020). FRA 2020 examines the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020. The information provided by FRA presents a comprehensive view of the world’s forests and the ways in which the resource is changing.
Detroit Parks Coloring Pages
Learn what makes a city park great, such as local wildlife, spaces for public enjoyment and community activities, with this Detroit Parks Coloring Book. Use these coloring pages (available for download, print, and color) for students to explore the parks around the city of Detroit, Michigan. Then, discuss with students ways your community might conserve and enhance its public spaces with the help of PLT activities and have them investigate organizations, like the non-profit Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, that work to support community public spaces.
Native Land Digital
Curated and designed by an Indigenous-led team, Native Land Digital is a tool that maps Indigenous territories, treaties and languages. Download The Land You Live On Education Guide for some exercises to increase students’ awareness of the history of the land around them, and for help with discussions about Indigenous history, geography, and the rich and diverse cultures that have evolved from the land. Learn how to connect with local Indigenous organizations and communities to engage in cross-cultural exchanges about the land we live on and the importance of Indigenous land acknowledgment. Please note,while it provides a general sense of an area, the map does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. Use it to spur discussion on the topic and as a first step to pursue more research.
Podcast Series: Learning About Green Careers
Learn more about the work of a tree conservation ecologist in this episode from the podcast series Planted: Finding your roots in STEM Careers. Dr. Silvia Alvarez-Clare works at The Morton Arboretum, located 25 miles west of Chicago. She collaborates with individuals and institutions all over the world to save the brandegee oak (Quercus brandegeei) from extinction. Dr Alvarez-Clare talks about her career path and discovering her passion in tree conservation and shares how climate change is impacting tree life cycles
Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive
Discover ways to help make our outdoor spaces, state and national parks more inclusive with these five ideas and action steps from outdoors experts and activists. According to the most recent National Parks Service survey, about more than 70 percent of those who visit or work in federal parks are white. Moreover, the outdoors industry workforce lacks representation from African Americans, the Latinx community, women, and members of the LGBTQ community, lending to low perceptions and limited access to the outdoors for minority populations. Consider discussing diversity in the outdoors with your middle and high school students and ways to make changes using these five ideas.
Investigate Solutions to Abandoned Mine Drainage
For a variation on PLT’s popular activity “Forest Consequences,” have your students engage in a mock debate using this role playing activity Abandoned Mine Drainage in Pennsylvania from the Lehigh Environmental Initiative at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Students investigate drainage issues from abandoned mines from differing perspectives, identify problems, search for a solution, evaluate options, and decide on a course of action to treat and clean up contaminated streams and rivers across Pennsylvania.
Earth from Space
This Smithsonian Institution website provides students (and teachers!) access to views of conditions and events on earth that are nearly impossible to document from the Earth’s surface. The site proves interactive; explaining how satellite imagery is gathered and used to better understand the world around us.
EPA’s new EnviroAtlas tool is designed to help communities and researchers make informed planning and policy decisions related to the environment and ecosystems. EnviroAtlas provides datasets and interactive tools to allow users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services. EnviroAtlas includes over 300 data layers, letting users analyze how decisions affect ecosystems and their ability to provide goods and services. Key components include:
Free National Parks Short Films
Think virtual field trip! Brothers Will and Jim Pattiz are media professionals who have a passion for our national parks. Over the past year, they put their passion to work by producing short films for several of the parks. Their long-range plan is to create a short film for each of the 59 U.S. National Parks to help build a greater awareness of our national parks system, and encourage families to plan trips of their own. Check out their website at morethanjustparks.com and view this 4-minute video on Joshua Tree National Park to sample their work!