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Friday, March 20, 2015

Schools can order tree seedlings through the Seedlings for Schools program

GAME COMMISSION PLANTS SEED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING

The Pennsylvania Game Commission again is helping students learn about the vital role trees play in the environment.

The “Seedlings for Schools” program provides tree seedlings to classrooms so students can plant them as part of projects to improve wildlife habitat.

Orders placed as part of the “Seedlings for Schools” program are being accepted through March 27. To order, visit the agency’s website, www.pgc.state.pa.us, and click on the “Seedlings for Schools” icon.

There is no charge to schools that participate in this project. The seedlings are provided by the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery and shipping costs are offset by donations.
The program provides two levels of involvement based on the grade levels.

“Seedlings for Your Class” is primarily for pre-K and 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 white spruce, mixed oak and flowering crabapple. A teachers guide comes with the seedlings and can be accessed through the website.

“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 who might use them to improve habitat on school or community grounds or along streams, or to create tree nurseries or environmental areas.

Seedlings come in bundles of 25, and will be shipped directly to schools by UPS during the last two weeks of April, depending on weather and the number of orders received.

Once seedlings arrive, it is important to keep them moist, said Annetta Ayers, superintendent of the Game Commission’s Howard Nursery.

Seedlings should be handed out to students with their roots in plastic bags with moist shredded newspaper, or with the seedlings planted in juice or milk cartons for transplanting at home, Ayers said.

Information on how to plant the seedlings and other educational materials will be provided with seedlings.

More information about the program can be found on the Game Commission’s website, or by contacting Theresa Alberici at talberici@pa.gov.

The “Seedlings for Schools” program is made possible through generous donations by the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation, Mealey’s Furniture, the Pennsylvania Forestry Association Jim Stiehler Memorial Fund, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Individuals and groups wishing to donate to the program can send checks to the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Fund, which maintains the account for donations. Be sure to indicate the donation is for the Game Commission’s “Seedlings for Schools” program. Donations can be mailed to the Wildlife for Everyone Endowment Foundation, 341 Science Park Road, State College, PA 16803.

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