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Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is the American Forest Foundation’s environmental education program that produces high quality curriculum materials for students in grades PreK-12. PLT provides training and professional development opportunities for teachers, non-formal educators, and pre-service teachers (teachers in training.)
PLT teaches students how to think, not what to think about the environment.

Since the program began in the early 1970s, over 500,000 educators have used PLT to teach about both the natural and built environment—forests, wildlife, water, air, energy, waste, climate change, invasive species, community planning, and culture, to name a few. PLT activities guide students through a process that begins with awareness, moves to knowledge, challenges preconceived ideas, and seeks constructive avenues for environmental action. PLT provides educators the tools they need to bring the environment into their classrooms—and their students outside into the environment.

PLT’s state of the art PreK-8 curriculum materials are packed with inter-disciplinary activities, each tailored to specific grade levels and learning objectives. These materials provide educators the tools they need to bring the environment into their classrooms – and their students into the environment. PLT’s secondary modules are topically based, challenging students to explore the many facets of an issue – illustrating the complexity of making real life environmental decisions. All of PLT’s curriculum materials are correlated to national education standards and many states have correlated the materials to state standards too.


PLT uses the forest as a “window” on the world to increase students’ understanding of our environment; stimulate students’ critical and creative thinking; develop students’ ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues; and instill in students the commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment.


  • To develop students’ awareness, appreciation, skills, and commitment to address environmental issues.
  • To provide a framework for students to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills to resolve environmental problems.To help students acquire an appreciation and tolerance of diverse viewpoints on environmental issues and develop attitudes and actions based on analysis and evaluation of the available information.
  • To encourage creativity, originality, and flexibility to resolve environmental problems and issues.
  • To inspire and empower students to become responsible, productive, and participatory members of society.