February 13, 2018
Project Learning Tree has awarded 28 GreenWorks! grants to schools and community organizations across the United States for environmental service-learning projects. Over 5,000 students in 20 states will be involved in a variety of action projects they help design and lead to improve the environment.
“These grants help students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world,” said James McGirt, Manager of Service Learning and Community Engagement. “From kindergarten to high school, young people are making a difference as environmental stewards and leaders in their community.”
GreenWorks! projects encourage students to use their creativity and imagination and develop other 21st century skills such as collaboration and teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving. They provide students with opportunities to employ STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) and introduce students to green careers. By blending community service with the academic curriculum, students are “learning by doing” through these projects.
For example, with GreenWorks! support:
- In Na’alehu, Hawaii, elementary students will participate in a beach cleanup and landscape the area with native plants. They’ll create a mosaic using upcycled marine debris and write accompanying text for an outdoor, educational board to raise community awareness of environmental degradation happening in the area.
- In Alpine, California, middle school students will start a composting program and create native plant gardens. They’ll work with ethnobotany experts and student leaders from the local Kumeyaay tribal community to design informational plaques about traditional customs and historical uses of their region’s native plants.
- In Deatsville, Alabama, high school students will conduct an inventory of the forest behind their school, build a trail with tree identification markers, and install birdhouses. The trail will be used for science and agriculture classes, as well as cross-country sports and outdoor recreation.
Since 1992, PLT has distributed more than $1 million to fund more than 1,000 PLT GreenWorks! projects in communities across the country. The USDA Forest Service helped provide some funding for GreenWorks! grants this year.
Proposals for the next round of grants are due Sept 30, 2018. Application forms will be made available in the spring. Learn more at www.plt.org/resources/greenworks-grants.