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Urban Forests: A Supplement to Florida's Project Learning Tree1

Bebette de Vera, Martha C. Monroe, and Jennifer A. Seitz 2

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"Urban Forests: A Supplement to Florida's Project Learning Tree" is a companion document for teachers who have the PreK-8 Project Learning Tree Activity Guide. This supplement helps youth see their community's urban forests as significant, valuable, and worth sustaining. It is based on three themes: urban forest ecology, benefits of an urban forest, and strategies for improving urban forest health.

As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, Florida's forests and forest ecosystems are impacted as the human population grows. However, strategically maintained urban forests can mitigate some of the negative effects of urban development by moderating the climate, protecting water quality, and improving air quality, for example. Although forestry education materials are abundant, there are few that focus on the urban forest. This supplement complements a very popular and successful forest education program, Project Learning Tree (PLT) in the state of Florida.

The development of this supplement began with a review of urban forest materials and identification of existing activities that met urban forest goals and learning objectives. Where gaps were evident, extensions of PLT activities were developed, as well as new activities in the PLT activity format. All of the new lessons incorporate Florida's Sunshine State Standards and most promote science-based investigations on school grounds. A committee of natural resource professionals and educators reviewed this document for factual and educational accuracy.

This 79-page document provides educators with background information and identifies 26 PLT activities that already work well in urban areas; 19 PLT activities that can be adapted with suggestions to be more applicable to an urban space; 6 urban forest extensions to existing PLT activities; and 6 new urban forest activities.


1. This document is CIR1457, one of a series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 2006. Revised March 2018. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.
2. Bebette de Vera, former graduate student; Martha C. Monroe, professor; and Jennifer A. Seitz, Project Learning Tree state coordinator; School of Forest Resources and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, 32611.

Publication #CIR1457

Release Date:January 28th, 2021

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