Educator Toolkit

MillionTreesNYC wants every New Yorker to learn about how trees fit into our urban environment, and how they provide tremendous benefits to our minds and bodies.  If you are an educator we hope that you will engage your students in learning about trees and the role they play in taking care of our city’s environmental future.

Schoolyard Tree Planting and Education Programs

From classroom-based environmental education programs to schoolyard tree planting, MillionTreesNYC can further transform our public schools into model green spaces while helping to build a corps of young people who will protect and maintain our city's trees and environment in the future.

For information on how to take advantage of the many tree planting, stewardship and educational programs that MillionTreesNYC offers, download the MillionTreesNYC Educator's Brochure.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS: Submit Tree Education Program Data HERE

Find the MillionTreesNYC program that's right for you, your classroom, or afterschool program and let's get growing!

generation On

generationOn's Service Learning Lesson Plans
Teaches young people about environmental stewardship. generationOn's curriculum division, Learning to Give, is the world's leading developer of lesson plans and resources that teach giving and volunteerism, civic engagement, and character through service. All environmental stewardship lessons are NYS-coded, standards-based lesson plans that address core curriculum and offer community service extension projects. Download 10+ Tree-Related Lesson Plans (K-5).

Urban Park Rangers

The Natural Classroom (Urban Park Rangers)
A series of educational programs developed by the Urban Park Rangers to immerse students in the living laboratory of the natural world. These programs combine standards-based education with hands-on field lessons taught by Urban Park Rangers. TreesNYC: Something Big is Taking Root brings attention to trees, their importance, and challenges they face. More Program Information.

Seeds to Trees Program (City Parks Foundation)
A field based program for public school to use city parks as an extension of their classrooms.  These programs meet the Department of Education performance standards. More Program Information


Training Student Organizers (GrowNYC)
Creates the environmental leaders of the future though academically based service learning programs. TSO educates young people about the environmental consequences of their choices, teaches them to improve the environment in which they live, and increases their interest in environmental sciences and issues. Through TSOs hands-on programs, middle and high school students directly connect with and improve the urban ecosystem by planting trees in the watershed, building model green buildings, and identifying environmental hazards in their communities. More Program Information.

Youth Environmental Literacy Programs (Trees New York)
Trees New York's Youth Environmental Literacy Programs teach urban youth to protect, enhance and advocate for their neighborhood trees and environmental resources. Students participate in hands-on activities as well as classroom studies that expand their knowledge of the environment while advancing their reading, language and investigative skills. Trees New York's Youth Environmental Literacy Program course curriculums are customized to accommodate students' age and classroom schedules. Programs range from one to twelve hours and include learning materials. Several New York State Learning Standards can be fulfilled by participating in our programs. More Program Information

NYRP MTNYC Education Programs

Fifteen For Trees
Got 15 minutes?  That’s enough time to engage your students in one of our doable downloads, which consist of hands-on, inquiry-based activities that get students thinking about trees, the environment, their communities and stewardship. Join New York Restoration Project and MillionTreesNYC as we explore Trees and the Earth, Trees and New York City, Trees and Neighborhoods, and Trees and Me for grades K-8.
Download K-3 PDF
Download 4-8 PDF

Over a six-month period, an educator will lead a 5th grade classroom in a series of lessons and individual assignments that will empower students to create a greener schoolyard or playground. Students in the participating class or afterschool group will survey school grounds for greening opportunities, learn the role of trees in natural ecosystems and urban communities, participate in campus tree planting designs, develop an outreach strategy to communicate their tree planting efforts to the school community, and engage the student body in tree planting and stewardship activities.  The program includes a watershed walk to learn how trash and pollution degrade ecosystems. The program culminates in a schoolyard planting day and celebration, and lessons for long-term tree care and maintenance. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Talkin' Trees
Talkin' Trees provides an opportunity to educate an entire student body about the importance of urban trees and tree stewardship without committing to year-round classroom learning. NYRP will conduct a specialized student assembly for grades K-12 including an introduction to the MillionTreesNYC initiative, a review of New York City's ecosystem and the social benefits of the city's urban forest, a tree stewardship review, and action steps for how the school, students, and their families can get involved in MillionTreesNYC. NYRP staff will return to the school for a tree planting day, during which students will develop a long-term stewardship plan. For more information, please contact [email protected].

Make Every Day an Arbor Day
A how-to workbook for any elementary or junior high school teacher who is committed to incorporating the concepts of tree planting and stewardship into their classroom. The workbook includes applied teaching concepts for lessons in math, environmental science, resource conservation and stewardship, and other arbor-related subjects. In addition, the activity guide provides detailed instructions for leading student groups in campus tree planting.
Download PDF

Additional Opportunities for Educators and Students

Whole Kids Foundation Invites Applications for New Grant Program to Support School Gardens

(Deadline: December 31, 2011)

Grants of $2,000, along with curriculum resources, and mentorship, will be provided to one thousand schools and garden-related nonprofit organizations to support the launch or expansion of school gardens.

For more information, please visit the RFP website.

Action for Nature Young Eco-Hero Awards

Action For Nature's International Young Eco-Hero Award program honors the work of young people between the ages of 8 and 16 who have done creative environmental projects. The winners of AFN's International Young Eco-Hero Awards program receive a cash prize and a special certificate, as well as public recognition on AFN's Web site and elsewhere.

Lexus Eco-Challenge 2010-2011 Competition

Lexus, the luxury automaker, has joined with Scholastic, the children's publishing and education company, to present the Lexus Eco Challenge, a program designed to inspire and empower middle and high school students to learn about the environment and take action to improve it. This fall, students are invited to participate in the fourth annual Eco Challenge for a chance to win part of $500,000 in grants and scholarships.

Action for Nature Young Eco-Hero Awards

Action For Nature's International Young Eco-Hero Award program honors the work of young people between the ages of 8 and 16 who have done creative environmental projects. The winners of AFN's International Young Eco-Hero Awards program receive a cash prize and a special certificate, as well as public recognition on AFN's Web site and elsewhere.