Trees For Change
Empowering children to improve their natural environment.
What is Trees for Change?
Trees for Change is a collaborative program of the Charlotte Public Tree Fund, Charlotte Mecklenburg schools and local businesses that educates local school children on the value of trees and then engages the students in a tree planting program either at their school or elsewhere in the community.
How it Works
The Tree Fund provides a pre-developed, age appropriate, 30 minute lesson program about trees. Our volunteers then work with the administrative and teaching staff at a local school of their choice to plan and deliver the education program in conjunction with a tree planting program or event involving the students.
School Campus Tree Planting. We will lead the students in an on-campus tree planting of one or more indigenous Trees, each 2.5 to 3.5 inches in caliper and 10 to 15 feet tall. All materials, tools and supplies will be provided along with guidance from a Tree Fund member.
School Campus Tree Nursery. We will supply everything your students need to build and install a tree nursery on the school campus. A Tree Fund member will work with school staff to identify the nursery site, prepare the planting area and then lead the students in planting a variety of indigenous tree seedlings. The seedlings will be cared for by the students and then moved when appropriate to areas on the campus where trees are needed. Alternatively the trees can be donated to our Creek Releaf program for planting along our streams.
Creek ReLeaf Student Impact Program. Our volunteers work with the administrative and teaching staff at a local school to plan and deliver the education program and to kick off a two week effort by the students and/or teachers to collect spare change or otherwise raise funds for donation to the Charlotte Public Tree Fund for tree planting. We then work with the school to plan and implement a field trip to a Creek ReLeaf tree planting site to involve the students in planting the trees their fundraising provided (see our Creek ReLeaf program for more information about Creek ReLeaf).
Trees for Change has resulted in the planting of several hundred trees at local schools and in public areas such as greenways. The students have enjoyed designing and implementing their various tree planting projects and watching the trees grow as they matriculate through school.
- 2005 Charlotte Country Day students raised $6,000 by collecting change and donated it to support Creek
- ReLeaf. The students joined in and planted 175 trees along Stewart Creek and elsewhere in Charlotte.
- 2008 Charlotte Country Day students raised $1,800 for donation to support the Charlotte Tree Funds planting efforts.
- 2012 First Ward Arts Academy. The students designed the park logo and delivered an entire program at the grand opening of the Wells Fargo Sense and Science Garden Park.
Wells Fargo Sense and Science Garden Park
First Ward Arts Academy underwent a transformation. Several buildings were demolished and the new Wells Fargo Sense and Science Garden park was developed on 1.25 acres of the campus. The Sense and Science Garden Park added new trees, an outdoor classroom, a performance stage, bird and insect habitat, edible garden, math spiral, tree sculpture and other art works, and open play/exercise areas that have enabled students to learn about science and nature outdoors.
The new garden park is available for use by the public as well. Funded by Wells Fargo, this garden park was developed through the collaborative efforts of Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, the First Ward Elementary PTA, the Charlotte Public Tree Fund, Charlotte Center City Partners, North American Landscaping, LSG Landscape Architecture and the First Ward students of course. Click here to download the Vision Plan for the Sense and Science Garden. For more information about the First Ward Sense and Science Garden project or to volunteer please contact Ellen Loflin at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 980-343-5485.
If you are interested in learning more about the Trees for Change Program or volunteering at our local schools please sign up on our volunteer page or contact us for more information. If you enjoy working with kids this can be a very rewarding experience.