Education nurtures environmental stewardship
The Greening’s adult education opportunities include volunteer tree plantings, apprenticeships in urban agriculture, and forestry leadership training:
The Our LAND (Learn, Admire, Nurture, Dream) Program
- Urban youth are far less likely than their peers living outside the city to regularly experience the wonders of nature. In 2013, The Greening of Detroit’s Our LAND program provided 258 students from five Detroit schools a chance to learn about nature through classroom lessons. More importantly, they followed up with outdoor hands-on field trips geared at exploring and creating a deeper connection to the natural world.
Students were taken to Rouge Park, Detroit’s old growth forest stretching across 1,184 acres, to explore and understand the similarities and differences between forest, prairie and riparian ecosystems. During scavenger hunts at the park they searched for and found all sorts of interesting things, from bird nests to snake holes, tree leaves and varying kinds of ground cover — nature at its best. Our LAND is funded through the U.S. Forestry Service.
After a recent trek to Rouge Park in Detroit, one of the students said,
“I was very excited to go on the field trip. It was only the second time I have been in the woods and I didn’t know what I would see or touch. I really liked seeing the deer tracks and the different trees and plants. It was amazing!”
The Camp Greening program:
- The Greening of Detroit took its mobile Camp Greening program on the road again this past summer, spending afternoons outdoors with 934 youth at 35 different sites around the city. Camp staff arrived at scheduled neighborhood parks, libraries, and community sites armed with a full toolbox of activities to help educate children about nature and the environment.
According to Kristin Martinez, environmental education manager for The Greening of Detroit, “Camp Greening gives kids a chance to learn how they intersect with nature. We provide these learning experiences right here in the city. This helps kids understand that nature and the environment are all around them, and that we all play an important role in being good stewards of the earth.”
The Citizen Forester Program:
In its second year, the Citizen Forester program is growing. This year, we have trained 63 new individuals to assist Greening foresters at local tree planting events. These valuable volunteers receive training in volunteer management, community engagement, tree identification and tree maintenance. They attend Saturday planting events and instruct teams of volunteers in tree planting.
- 2013 at a glance:
- 84 active Citizen Foresters
- contributed 2,140 hours of volunteer sweat equity to Greening projects
- 2 orientation workshops provided to new participants (classroom and field training)
- 1 refresher workshop held for returning Citizen Foresters
- 8 additional training courses were offered in 2013 including: Volunteer Management Training (2x), Community Engagement Training (2x), Tree ID workshop, Tree ID Field Training, Maintenance and Pruning workshop, Maintenance and Pruning Field Training
For more information about environmental education programs, please contact Kristin@greeningofdetroit.com.