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Seeds To Forest

Seeds to Forest is a free program we offer to London and Middlesex elementary schools!

What is it?

Seeds to Forest is a program open to Grade 4, 5 and 6 classes in elementary schools in London and Middlesex County. Students learn about trees and their impact on the local environment through a 4-part series of educational activities. 

These hands-on, interconnected activities will enhance students’ connection with nature and their understanding of trees, and the role of trees in our urban forest, all while adding more trees to schoolyards in London and contributing to the Million Tree Challenge. 
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There are numerous curriculum connections available throughout the 4 modules – embedding environmental education into mathematics, science and technology, language, arts, social sciences, and more. Teachers will gain access to a variety of environmental education connections and resources. 


Program activities:

 
1) Growing Tree Seedlings in the Classroom
 
Students plant seeds of native tree species and raise seedlings in their classroom throughout the winter and spring, before taking seedlings home in May - June. Students learn about the life cycle of trees and requirements of plants. Many math and science connections are available for this activity, and kids love watching their baby trees grow! 

Time requirement: 40 mins. per class for planting + ongoing watering daily.

When:  January - February through to May
 
 
 
 
 

2) Site Planning Workshop

 
Students work with ReForest London staff to learn how to make appropriate recommendations for which species should be planted in the schoolyard. Students learn about tree requirements (light, moisture, soil, etc) and how to choose the best tree for that location, and also participate in group-based mapping and deduction exercises. Students put forth their choices as a group, and learn about native species. 
 
Time requirement: 1 hour per class
When: March - April for Spring session / September for Fall session
 
 
 
3) Schoolyard Tree Planting 
 
Students will plant large shade trees in their schoolyard, with assistance from ReForest London staff. The number of trees planted at each school will vary, but on average we expect 450 trees per year to be planted in London schoolyards. 
 
Students get real, hands on experience with planting trees (and some exercise, too!), and feel a sense of ownership over their project. Students will participate in a Tree Guardian exercise which they can share with their school as a stewardship activity. 
 
Time requirement: 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours per class, depending on # of trees
When: April - May for Spring session / October - November for Fall session
 
 
 
 
4) Tree Hike Field Trip
 
Students attend a free field trip to participate in a tree hike through a local mature forest in Westminster Ponds, London's largest Environmentally Significant Area (ESA). Age appropriate topics are introduced and discussed, including habitats, animal communities, biodiversity, invasive species, and more. Students can observe the various layers and ecosystems within our mature forests, and maybe even catch a glimpse of our local wildlife! The trip finishes off with a fun nature scavenger hunt. 
 
Time requirement: Half day
When: May - June for Spring session / October - November for Fall session
 
 
 
 
 

Who can participate?

  • Elementary schools in the City of London or Middlesex County (including public, Catholic, French, and private schools)
  • 2 classes from each school, in Grades 4, 5 or 6 may participate
  • Additional classes may participate in the seedling growing activity if supplies are available, at an extra cost. 

 

 

What is the cost to participate?   St Francis

There is NO COST to participate in this program! 

Your school will be provided with the supplies and seeds required to grow approximately 60 baby trees, or, enough for 2 classes of students. (Additional seedling supplies may be purchased.)

We will allocate a number of large shade trees to your schoolyard, based on need. If your school wishes to plant additional trees beyond what our program can fund, you may choose to fundraise for those extra trees.

Busing for the field trip (tree hike) is provided through this program, and busing arrangements are made by our staff.
  

 

How many trees will be planted in our schoolyard in this program? What size will they be?

The size of trees planted may vary from school to school, based on site requirements and board policy, but we expect trees to range in size from potted trees between approx. 6'-10’ in height; to wire basket 30-50 mm caliper trees at approx. 8-14’ in height. The number of trees that can be planted in each schoolyard will depend on the size and price.  Your school may recieve a few large caliper trees, or, many potted trees.

Rural schools or schools in new neighbourhoods may be eligible for windbreak planting projects. 
  

 

REGISTRATION:  Now accepting registration for Fall 2019

Please note: Teachers must have the support of their principals to register. Principals will be required to approve site plans and to assist with board approvals for planting. 

Click here to register!

One of our staff will then contact you to discuss your school's involvement, and, if approved, begin planning your tree projects! 

 

 

Questions? Contact Susan McPartlin at susan@reforestlondon.ca or 519-936-9548 ext 229

 

 

We gratefully acknowledge our 2019 program sponsors:

 

 

Rasmussen Family Fund within London Community Foundation