Forestry Education

Performance Area: Outdoor Recreation

Number of participants in School Forest and Project Learning Tree (PLT)


Why Is This Important?

Citizen involvement is needed to keep forests healthy, vibrant, and productive – from managing privately owned lands, providing input on public land management, battling emerald ash borer, enjoying forest recreation, to using tree products on a daily basis. DNR forestry outreach programs help create citizens who are knowledgeable about natural resource management and good stewards of the land.


What Is DNR Doing?

boy_drawing_close_up_Lakewood_SF_3.12.jpg
  Image 1 of 1 (use left/right arrows to navigate previous/next)

Click for more images

The DNR’s forestry outreach programs support education for preschoolers through adults.

The DNR provides forest management advice, curriculum support, and forestry information to over 140 School Forests, where students use more than 7,900 acres as outdoor classrooms to learn about the natural world. Long-term relationships established with each site allows the School Forest Program to reach more than 2,500 schoolteachers and 50,000 pre-K–12 students annually with in-depth natural resource information. Focused attention is given to expanding sites in urban areas and helping teachers teach outdoors.

Since 1978, the DNR’s Project Learning Tree (PLT) has provided forestry and natural resource information to educators through workshops. PLT audiences include educators, students, scout leaders, and natural resource professionals. In 2017, PLT developed a strategic plan to increase long-term use of PLT activities in the classroom. PLT is a foundational tool for teachers who use environmental education to teach science, math, language arts and social studies, especially in School Forests.


Target: Maintain involvement in DNR forestry education initiatives to ensure a knowledgeable public.

The School Forest Program will increase participation to 58,000 students and teachers while supporting its existing 132 sites and 7,900 acres of land. Minnesota PLT will reach at least 18,000 teachers and students, and apply evaluation data to bestsupport educators after they attend a PLT training.