Supporting Tree Growing Stations in communities, schools | eePRO @ NAAEE
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Supporting Tree Growing Stations in communities, schools

The Maryland Forest Service is supporting a "5 Million Trees" initiative across the state. The state's Urban and Community Forestry Program is interested in working with community organizations, k-12 schools and universities to establish what we're calling "Grow Out Stations" to grow seedlings that they can then plant. The hope is to support students and communities in growing and planting their own trees, while providing education, skills, and capacity building and establishing / building connections to the Maryland DNR Forest Service.

We are currently in the early stages of brainstorming how to work with schools that have greenhouses, horticulture/forestry programs, or even just adjacent greenspace for establishing seedlings. While some of our communities have these available, others are predominantly covered in hardscape and it will take more creativity to find a place to grow trees. The focus here is on the learning experience and connecting the growing of the trees to the planting. We aren't worried about achieving specific numbers. Partners could be growing 5 trees in pots or 25 in a greenhouse or field - whatever suits their program and capacity best.

We've never done anything like this before though. I was wondering if anyone has done similar projects or heard of successful models that we can learn from? It would be great to learn about some best practices, lessons learned, and key things to keep in mind while planning and building a project like this.