The Learning with Trees program has been an important part of Tree Trust’s Community Forestry department since 1992. The program reinforces Tree Trust’s mission to increase the urban tree canopy, improve and increase education about the role trees play in our urban environment, and encourages environmental stewardship through community engagement. This past fall, Mikaela Buscher, Community Forestry’s GreenCorps Member, worked on creating an inventory of the trees that our Learning with Trees program has planted at schools.
The inventory went back 10 years in the program, looking at schools that had plantings between 2005-06 and 2015-16. The inventory was done to provide a working catalog of trees at these schools, to look at the success of the program over time, and evaluate the need for program changes based on the findings. The final inventory consisted of 43 schools around greater Minnesota, with a total of 652 trees being inventoried.
Each school that was inventoried will receive a summary letter of what’s going on with their trees and some problem areas that should be addressed. Buscher was optimistic about the opportunity to follow up with the schools, saying, “I think that the best thing that I found from the inventory was how interested many of the schools were in the health of their trees and how they could help them to succeed. Many of the schools were also interested in how they could get more trees, which is a reflection on the value of the program in improving the landscapes of the schools through Tree Trust’s plantings.”
This spring, the Learning with Trees program will continue to bring environmental education to three elementary schools in the metro. Schools include North Trail Elementary in Farmington (sponsored by Dakota Electric), Raven Stream Elementary in New Prague (sponsored by Cargill), and Lake Marion Elementary in Lakeville (sponsored by Centerpoint). Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support of Learning with Trees!