Dominion’s Project Plant It!
Celebrating 10 Years of Inspiring Children to Learn About and Plant Trees
Thousands of children in Virginia and other states are digging into Mother Nature this spring thanks to Project Plant It!, an environmental education program that was created and launched 10 years ago by Dominion Resources. A hallmark of the program is the distribution of a free redbud tree seedling to all children who are registered to participate. The seedlings are shipped to arrive around Arbor Day, which is April 29.
This year, for the first time since the program began in 2007, enrollment was open to all grade levels in every state in which Dominion operates. Also, other entities that educate or work with youth could sign up to participate. In 2016, about 50,000 redbud seedlings will be sent to church groups, elementary schools, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, early childhood centers and homeschools across the Commonwealth.
“Project Plant It! is spreading its roots into hundreds of new localities to celebrate this program’s tenth anniversary, which is a very exciting milestone,” said Suyapa Marquez, Project Plant It! spokesperson for Dominion. “This program is one of the many ways that Dominion seeks to partner with the communities we serve.”
Back in 2007, Richmond Public Schools (RPS) was quick to seize the opportunity for its elementary students when the school system was invited to participate in the pilot program. RPS has remained a strong advocate for Project Plant It! over the past decade.
“The program supports STEM learning both inside and outside the classroom, which offers many lasting educational benefits for our students,” said Dr. Anthony Leonard, executive director of elementary education for Richmond Public Schools. “Children are fascinated by nature and this program nurtures their curiosity with a memorable, hands-on experience that culminates with planting their own tree seedling.”
Indira Williams, principal of RPS’s Ginter Park Elementary School, commented, “Project Plant It! has been an important part of our third-grade curriculum each year in the spring. The website is packed with a variety of interactive lesson plans, along with SOL-based games and videos about trees.”
Although registrations to receive seedlings closed in mid-February, there are still many opportunities to engage children in Project Plant It! All of the instructional materials – including lesson plans in math, science, language arts and social studies, as well as other teaching tools – can be downloaded at no charge from the website, www.projectplantit.com. Teachers and parents can easily adapt these materials to different grade and age levels.
Over the past 10 years, Project Plant It! has distributed a grand total of about 350,000 tree seedlings, representing almost 875 acres of new forest if all of the seedlings are planted and grow to maturity. [Source: Virginia Department of Forestry]
Project Plant It! was created by Dominion to teach children about the benefits of trees and to inspire a new generation of tree-planters to protect the environment. For more information, visit www.projectplantit.com or “Like” Project Plant It! on Facebook.