PLT In The News


Colorado PLT Coordinator Retires…


 

I am both happy and sad retire from CSFS and PLT on September 1st!  Happy because…it’s time!  And sad because I love my job as Colorado State PLT Coordinator!

 

I’ve enjoyed my 50+ years as a science and environmental educator, sharing with anyone who will listen my knowledge, experience, love of natural sciences and the Colorado environment that I was born into! I’m privileged to have learned from and worked with, formal (private and public schools, preschools through higher education) and non-formal education (nature centers, non-profits, natural resource agencies, institutions), indoors and out, from before desktop computers to computers in our pockets.

 

My last 25 years with the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) as the Colorado Project Learning Tree Coordinator have been extremely rewarding and I’ve enjoyed many successes and challenges working with the CSFS’s incredibly dedicated people across the state and the educators and stakeholders within their communities, forests and fields.  Our  volunteer PLT facilitators are inspirational, giving of themselves again and again to help others learn about the world we love to care about.  I attribute our many PLT accomplishments to our facilitators and dedicated preschool through college educators.

 

Project Learning Tree is an extremely well-crafted and important program, championed by smart, well-organized and passionate national and international educators and natural resource professionals.  I’m so grateful to have found CSFS in 1993, and that I was able to create a strong Colorado PLT program that has informed so many about our forests- from urban to rural and from prairies to peaks.  Through PLT and the CSFS, and our many partners in natural resources,  I visited and learned about more of Colorado and many other states than I otherwise would have!  I love experiential learning!

 

I’m proud that Colorado was one of the first states to help create PLT in 1976. There are and have always been many outstanding Environmental Education leaders and visionaries in Colorado.  I knew little about forestry when I started, being “just” a biology teacher,  and learned much from working with foresters, the entire national PLT family and all our partners.  And since most people of all ages also know little about forest ecosystems, I enjoyed helping them learn!  I am proud of the hundreds of volunteer PLT facilitators, thousands of educators and many thousands of students I have helped to know about our forests! I’ll probably be one of these volunteers myself, in retirement, from time to time!

 

Thanks  for the opportunity for me to accomplish much, to be creative, to lead and to grow in my effectiveness. I hope the CSFS and all citizens and visitors of Colorado continue to recognize and support the importance of educating future generations so landowners, users, and voters will become even better educated and supportive of healthy forests.

 

May the Forests Be With You All!

I may be reached at naturalconnexions@gmail.com

PLT and Drones


PLT and Drones
PLT activities often engage students in collecting and analyzing landscape data.

Project Learning Tree’s Texas partners have identified activities that can be enhanced with the use of data collected by drones. Professors and students at the Stephen F. Austin State University College of Agriculture and Forestry have historically relied on drones to perform research on individual tree health and hazard assessment. Educators found that images taken using the DJI Phantom P3 were just as reliable as in-person observations and particularly useful in urban forest assessments. The correlations  below resulted from a special initiative that emphasized using drones for educational programs.

The following PLT activities involve the collection and analysis of landscape data that students can either capture themselves with drone technology or  extrapolate from existing drone-captured footage.

Activity 22: Trees as Habitat Activity 36: Pollution Search     

Activity 9: Planet Diversity Activity 21: Adopt A Tree    

Activity 46: Schoolyard Safari Activity 47: Are Vacant Lots Vacant?    

Activity 48: Field, Forest, and Stream Activity 71: Watch on Wetlands

Activity 80: Nothing Succeeds Like Succession Activity 88: Life on the Edge

CO Early Childhood PLT Earns CDE Approval!


The CO PLT Early Childhood program, Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood, has earned TTASC approval (Trainer/Training Approval System of Colorado) for Qualistar and is a Colorado Department of Education approved Early Childhood Training!

In an effort to maintain a high standard for quality early childhood programing, the CDE and Qualistar have worked together to setup an application and approval process for ECE programs and professionals to apply for approval and recognition from these organizations. CO PLT’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood program began the application process early last year and recently received the good news of their approval.

Receiving CDE and Qualistar approval is a great recommendation and supports the level of quality programing PLT strives to offer educators around the world.

 

We’re BRANCHING OUT with ONLINE Workshops!


PLT now offers online training in Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood, Environmental Education for PreK-8and PLT GreenSchools service learning investigations.

These online workshops are specially designed to help you:

  • Engage your students in learning about the environment—both outside and indoors
  • Make learning and teaching fun with hands-on activities
  • Teach core subjects (especially STEM, reading, writing, and social studies)
  • Meet academic standards (including Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards)
  • Easily incorporate lessons into your existing curriculum or nonformal education programs
  • Become eligible to apply for a PLT GreenWorks! grant to fund a service-learning project for your students

Click here to access the new national PLT marketplace, where you can register for online workshops, preview EE resources, and purchase PLT materials!

Colorado Educators: If you’d like to receive 0.5 professional development credit and other benefits,* it is necessary to complete an additional 3 hour face-to- face or virtual synchronous experience with other educators, facilitators, and/or natural resource professionals in your backyard, school yard, or nearby open space. This will include participation in additional PLT activities, with more Colorado resources, materials, field trips, service projects, webinars and/or conference calls. For more information or to sign up for this, email the PLT program (coloradoplt@gmail.com) to register your interest.  We’ll contact you to arrange a convenient time to meet when we have several other educators also ready to participate.  The other participants might be in your neighborhood or across the state, experiencing and sharing with you different ecosystems, weather conditions, and habitats!  All will have recently completed the online PLT workshop.

*Additional benefits for completing the Colorado Follow up workshop include:

  • Eligibility to apply for Colorado’s Free Trees for PLT Teachers program.
  • Additional support materials, discounted PLT workshops, “fabulous” prizes!