West Virginia PLT Program

What Is Project Learning Tree?

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award winning, environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators working with students in grades K-12.

  • PLT uses the forest as a “window” into the natural world, helping young people gain an awareness and knowledge of the world around them, as well as their place within it.
  • PLT provides more than 175 interdisciplinary, instructional activities.
  • PLT provides workshops and in-service programs for teachers, foresters, youth group leaders, resource managers and others.
  • PLT works in the city and the country, whether there is a single tree or a forest.

Project Learning Tree's Background

PLT was developed through a joint effort of the American Forest Council (AFC) and the Western Regional Environmental Education Council (WREEC). The materials were written by classroom teachers and other educators, resource agency personnel, representatives of private conservation groups, and forest company representatives.

PLT has reached over 100,000 educators and more than seven million students in 49 states and four foreign countries since it was field tested and revised by classroom teachers in 1977. Research and field surveyors show PLT to be an effective teaching tool.

Project Learning Tree began in West Virginia in January 1976. It has been enthusiastically received by teachers and youth leaders. Nearly 300 people have been certified as workshop leaders, and over 5,000 teachers and youth group leaders have attended a local workshop to learn about using the activities with young people. A strong state steering committee is responsible for financing and operating the West Virginia PLT program.

The Benefit of Project Learning Tree

For Children:

  • Develop skills in creative problem solving, critical thinking, evaluation, research, and decision making.
  • Begin to make wise personal decisions about everyday matters that affect the environment.
  • Learn how to think, not what to think, about our complex environment.

For Teachers and Other Leaders:

  • Participate in creative, hands-on workshops that help improve their teaching skills.
  • Receive a ready-to-use PLT guide which actively involves students in the learning process.
  • Find that PLT activities work with a variety of teaching and learning styles.
  • Receive a complimentary subscription to PLT’s national newsletter, the BRANCH, and WV’s PLT newsletter, the ACORN, filled with additional teaching ideas, activities and information.

Project Learning Tree Activity Guides

With your students you can:

  • ADOPT A TREE… use all of your senses to investigate your tree and see how it changes throughout the year.
  • GO… on a school safari.
  • DISCOVER… the secret ingredients in soil.
  • INVESTIGATE… the value of wildlife to a community.
  • DESCRIBE… all the many roles wood and paper products play in our lives.
  • CREATE… a collage using only materials from the environment.
  • DEBATE… as a group of interested citizens trying to decide how to manage a piece of forested land acquired by your community.
  • TEST… the effects of overcrowding on plant growth.

This programs includes:

  • Ready-made lessons and activities that can be used to supplement existing curricula.
  • Action-oriented activities that can be used in any order, and require little, if anything, in the way of equipment.
  • New ideas that can be used with children having special needs.
  • Activities written by classroom teachers with the support and assistance of environmental educators, foresters, and conservation groups.

How Can I Get Involved?

During the workshop you will:

  • Find out more about PLT resources and activities.
  • Participate in hands-on PLT activities both indoors and out.
  • Learn more about trees and forest ecology from foresters and other natural resource professionals.
  • Expand your knowledge and teaching skills.
  • Discover how PLT can enliven your curriculum.
  • Meet and share ideas, information, and resources with other professionals.

A guide will be given to each workshop participant. There is no charge for a workshop with 10 or more participants.

At a Leadership Certification Workshop…..

A specifically chosen workshop staff will plan and conduct a two-day workshop for selected leaders who wish to help others learn how to use PLT activities with young people.

Project Learning Tree Sponsors

  • West Virginia Forestry Association
  • WV Division of Forestry
  • WV Conservation Education Council
  • U.S. Forest Service-State and Private Forestry

Individuals or organizations who would like to support Project Learning Tree-West Virginia financially, should send their check to or request information form:

West Virginia Forestry Association
P.O. Box 718
Ripley, WV 25271
Phone: 304-372-1955
FAX: 304-372-1957
E-Mail: wvfa@wvadventures.net

Project Learning Tree's Award

PLT is nationally recognized as an outstanding environmental education program. PLT and its co-sponsors, the American Forest Foundation and the Western Regional Environmental Education Council, have been honored with a number of awards, including:

  • The Distinguished Service Award from the North American Association for Environmental Education.
  • The Distinguished Service Award from the Conservation Education Association and its affiliate, the California Natural Resources Federation.
  • The National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Association.
  • The Education Sponsorship Award from the National Association for Industry-Education Cooperation.
  • The National Arbor Foundation Education Award.

PLT Activities

Activity 2:: Getting In Touch with Trees

Activity 6: Evergreens in Winter (Early Childhood)

Activity 12: Invasive Species

Activity 21: Adopt a Tree

Activity 22: Trees as Habitats

Activity 23: The Fallen Log

Activity 64: Looking at Leaves

Activity 65: Bursting Buds

Activity 67: How Big Is Your Tree?

Activity 70: Soil Stories

Activity 76: Tree Cookies

Activity 78: Signs of Fall

Activity 79: Tree Lifecycle