Youth Education

Trees New York’s hands-on tree care activities inspire students’ interest and commitment to the environment while enriching their academic potential. Students increase their science-based concepts and vocabulary by learning the meaning of terms such as photosynthesis, urban forest, pollinators, urban heat island effect and erosion.

Tree Stewardship
elementary, middle and high school

In New York City, where there is limited funding for tree maintenance but significant need, volunteer stewardship greatly increases the survivability of street trees. Tree stewardship supports personal and civic pride and has a real impact on the health of the urban environment. Young adults who are engaged in environmental stewardship are more likely to adopt community leadership roles as adults. Stewardship activities include tree bed clean up and soil cultivation, watering trees, mulching and tree bed gardening.

Schools & Trees
elementary, middle and high school

Trees New York uses the planting of trees and woody plants as a vehicle to engage students in environmental education. Schools & Trees extends far beyond the planting of trees. Students engage in hands on activities while they learn about relevant urban environmental issues. Activities are tailored to best suit each partner group. Activities might include planting trees, planting small bushes, creating pollinator habitats, analyzing soil tests, stewarding woody plants, espalier training and building trellises.

Arts & Trees
elementary, middle and high school

Students create original works of art such as making puppets, writing and performing songs, dances or plays, drawing cartoons or creating sculpture to explore and investigate the world of trees and environmental issues.  For example, last spring, Trees New York partnered with an elementary school in Staten Island where students made paper bag puppets and drawings of trees and talked about the importance of trees to the urban environment.

Young Urban Forester
middle and high school

The Young Urban Forester Program is an 8 hour certificate program for middle and high school students. Students investigate New York City’s urban forest and discuss solutions to its numerous challenges. Lessons include the benefits of a healthy urban forest, tree biology, tree care and maintenance, tree identification, invasive threats and environmental issues such as the urban heat island effect, stormwater management and energy overload. Students are also introduced to environmental careers. Hands on field training includes tree stewardship and the use of technologies commonly used in environmental analysis and an opportunity to adopt street trees.

Trees New York provides educational materials to support the lessons and aid students in their ongoing studies. Elementary school students receive Trees New York’s New York City Street Tree Activity Book and use their new knowledge to complete the fun activities. Activities require a basic understanding of tree-related concepts and include spelling, word recognition and reading comprehension.

Please contact Cheryl Blaylock, Director of Youth Programs for more information at