The state Game Commission again will help students in Pennsylvania schools learn about the vital role of trees in the environment through its "Seedlings for Schools" program.
The program enables students to plant a variety of tree seedlings at home, on school grounds or in their communities.
Orders will be accepted beginning Monday and through April 1 on the agency's website at www.pgc.state.pa.us, by clicking on "Seedlings for Schools."
"There is no charge to schools participating in this project, as the seedlings are provided by the Game Commission's Howard Nursery," said agency Executive Director Carl G. Roe. "The cost of shipping seedlings is covered through the generous donations of Waste Management, Mealey's Furniture, Wildlife for Everyone Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-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" primarily is for elementary students. The Game Commission provides a classroom or one grade level with enough seedlings for each student to take one home to plant. Seedling choices are silky dogwood or white pine, and a teacher's guide comes with the seedlings.
"Seedlings to Develop Habitats" primarily is for middle and high school students. The agency 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.
"Seedlings come in bundles of 25 and will be shipped directly to schools by UPS toward the end of April, depending on order receipt and weather," said Annetta Ayers, superintendent of the 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."
This year, all orders must be submitted online. For more information, including how schools can order seedlings, visit the Game Commission's website (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 will be available on this page of the agency's website on Feb. 27.