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Centennial School Tree Challenge
Alaska’s first #CentennialChallenge goal will be for 100 schools to plant a tree on Arbor Day 2020 (or sometime during the spring or fall of 2020). Thanks to the USDA Forest Service, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources – Division of Forestry is offering grants for the purchase, shipping, and planting of trees planted on school grounds (including indoors for schools that have a suitable space or greenhouse).
Established in 1872, Arbor Day is the perfect time to plant trees and learn about the many social and economic benefits that they provide. Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Monday in May in Alaska; and in 2020, that’s May 18th.
Arbor Day 2020 is an excellent opportunity for schools to become recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as “K-12 Tree Campuses.” The goal of this program is to “inspire the next generation of tree stewards through experiences that bring the benefits of trees to life both outside and in the classroom.”
To achieve recognition, schools are required to meet four basic program goals:
(1) Tree Campus Team. Maintain a group with representation from staff, students, and community dedicated to achieving Tree Campus K-12 recognition.
(2) Education Plan. Conduct activities that connect students to trees and their global benefits, inside and outside of the classroom.
(3) Hands-On Experience. Engage students in a hands-on project that brings tree spirit to the community.
(4) Arbor Day Observance. Hold a celebration of trees with the school or community.
Schools are encouraged to involve students in the application and planning process. Simply by completing this application process and hosting a student-led planting event, schools can reach many of the benchmarks required for recognition. For more information about becoming a Tree Campus K-12 and the many benefits associated with recognition, click here to visit the Arbor Day Foundation website.