HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe has announced the agency again will be helping Commonwealth school students learn about the vital role of trees in the environment through its “Seedlings for Schools” program, in which students will be able to plant a variety of tree seedlings at home, on school grounds or in his or her community.
“There is no charge to schools participating in this project, as the seedlings are provided by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery,” Roe said. “The cost of shipping seedlings is covered through the generous donations of Waste Management, Mealey’s Furniture, Wildlife for Everyone Foundation and USFWS-Partners for Wildlife.”
The program provides two levels of involvement based on the grade level, and the agency has been working with the state Department of Education to get the word out about the availability of seedlings.
“Seedlings for Your Class” is primarily for elementary students. As part of this program, the Game Commission provides a classroom or one grade level with enough seedlings for each student to take a seedling home to plant. Seedling choices are silky dogwood or white pine, and a teacher’s guide comes with the seedlings. Orders will be accepted through April 1.
“Seedlings to Develop Habitats” is primarily for middle and high school students. As part of this program, the Game Commission provides a variety of seedlings to students interested in planting seedlings on school or community grounds to improve habitat, plant along a stream, develop a tree nursery, or create an environmental area. Orders will be accepted Feb. 28-April 1.
“Seedlings come in bundles of 25, and will be shipped directly to schools by UPS during the weeks of April 18 and 25, dependent on order receipt and weather,” said Cliff Guindon, superintendent of the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery. “Once seedlings arrive, it is important to keep them moist. Hand out seedlings with roots in plastic bags with moist shredded newspaper or plant them in juice/milk cartons for transplanting at home. ‘How to plant’ information and educational materials will be provided with seedlings.”
This year, all orders must be submitted online. For more information, including how schools can order seedlings, visit the Game Commission’s Web site (www.pgc.state.pa.us) and click on the “Seedlings for Schools” icon in the center of the homepage. A teachers’ guide and student sheet also are available on this page of the agency’s Web site.