Planting for the Future: Outdoor Learning with Trees™

Tree Trust is planting for the future with Twin Cities students. Our Learning with Trees program provides top-notch outdoor learning experiences to elementary schools across the metro area every spring and fall. Thanks to our partnership with many generous corporate sponsors, this fantastic outdoor learning opportunity is free for Minnesota schools. 

According to many recent studies there is strong evidence that green spaces can boost academic achievement 

“Recent evidence points to the tantalizing possibility that planting in and around schoolyards could actually boost academic achievement. Three key preconditions for learning—ability to concentrate, manageable levels of stress, and intrinsic motivation to learn—have each been tied to green settings and views.” Ming Kuo, Educational Psychology 

Environmental Education & Student Engagement 

Utilizing trees as a catalyst for children to begin to understand the interconnectedness of all living things, Tree Trust’s Learning with Trees program begins with The Our Town Trees exhibit. This exhibit explains why we need to plant more trees, shows their numerous benefits, and helps prepare students for planting day when we move their classrooms outdoors! Trees are great tools for outdoor experiential learning. Tree Trust’s Community Forestry team includes children in each step of the tree planting process: root preparation, hole digging, mulching, and watering—practical applications of math and science. These hands-on activities bring math to life. Students learn to calculate proper planting depth using a shovel as a visual aid and determine the necessary volume of mulch and water with easy to carry kid-sized green buckets.  

Landscape Architects: Garden Beds on School Grounds 

Tree Trust’s forestry experts work directly with each school to tailor their outdoor learning spaces to fit their individual needs. Each school selected to participate in our program creates a Green Team to decide on what outdoor activities and landscape architecture works best for their school. This fall, Tree Trust’s Learning with Trees program concluded with two plantings at Blessed Trinity schools in Richfield, Minnesota. Excited to welcome back our outdoor learning program, their Green Team chose to add shrubs to campus garden beds in addition to reforesting the tree canopy. Returning to the Blessed Trinity school campus was a gift. Post-Dutch elm disease, our program planted the school grounds with a diverse tree canopy border and seeing the effect was infinitely gratifying. These now mature Tree Trust trees beautify the school grounds, provide shade and animal habitats, and stimulate learning while standing tall as a symbol of hope for a greener future. Trees truly are superheros!  

Together we can plant a greener future 

Tree Trust’s Learning with Trees program fosters a love of trees in elementary school children all over the Twin Cities metro area. We love helping students explore math and science by getting outside and planting more trees! This amazing outdoor learning opportunity is now taking applications for spring planting. Space is limited, apply today!