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Colorado State Forest Service News

Project Learning Tree Celebrates 40th Anniversary in Colorado

Project Learning Tree Colorado turns 40 this year.

GOLDEN, Colo. – This year, Project Learning Tree® (PLT) – an award-winning program of the American Forest Foundation that applies the forest as “a window on the world” to educate PreK-12 and environmental educators – is celebrating its 40th anniversary. In Colorado, which was one of the first 10 states to initially adopt PLT, this celebration will be formally recognized with a one-day workshop on Sept. 17 at the Lone Star School in Otis, Colo., in the same location as the first Colorado PLT workshop in 1976.

Teachers and other educators are invited to come celebrate the program at the place where PLT began in Colorado, and learn what has and hasn’t changed over the years. There participants will sample the program’s multi-disciplinary, hands-on activities to promote academic excellence across the curriculum. A minimal $7 registration fee, in honor of 1976 pricing, includes activity guides for different grade levels, lunch and additional resources. Teachers can also receive continuing education credit.

“For four decades, PLT has been one of the most recognized environmental education training programs for teachers, because of an applied learning format, engaging activities and the ability to respond to changing environmental education trends,” said Shawna Crocker, the state’s PLT coordinator through the Colorado State Forest Service. “Our goal remains to help students learn how to think, and not what to think.”

PLT engages the next generation by providing their educators with peer-reviewed, award-winning environmental education curriculum resources designed to be integrated into lesson plans for all grades and subject areas. Today, educators in every U.S. state and countries around the world use PLT elementary and secondary education materials, and the program has now trained more than 675,000 educators through in-person workshops.

“Teachers who benefit from PLT can help students become empowered to make informed decisions regarding natural resources, work collaboratively, think critically, and make a difference in their homes, schools, and communities,” Crocker said.

The deadline for educators to register is Sept. 10. For more details, contact Crocker at 303-278-8822; registration information is also available at the Project Learning Tree Colorado webpage.