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Environmental Education & Urban Teacher Initiative

Forest Stewardship
Program Brochure

Recruitment Flyer:

Forest Stewardship Program Press Release: Developing Middle/High School Students as Forest Stewards in Urban Detroit PDF

Available Attachments:
Teachers and Schools

For the classroom:
Winter Tree ID lesson
Winter Tree ID Clues
Nature Observation for Students
Trees As Habitats

2010-2011 Archive

2009-2010 Archive


Building Community Capacity to Manage Private/Public Forests & Develop Forest Stewards

With a 3-year U.S. Forest Service grant, Michigan Technological University, in collaboration with six partner organizations, will build youth and community capacity to manage and steward the urban forests on Belle Isle in the City of Detroit.

2013-14 Participating Schools ~ Year 3
17 teachers from 9 schools in Detroit

Teacher Professional Development
Feb. 1 - Project Learning Tree K-8 Activity Guide and Focus on Forests Teacher Workshop
March 15 - Creating Schoolyard Natural Areas and Planning Field Trips Teacher Workshop
April 12 – Urban Forestry and Controlling Invasive Species Teacher Workshop
June 23-27 – Forest Ecology Teacher Institute on Belle Isle (OPTIONAL)

Class Field Trips
The students will participate in 2 field trip to Belle Isle.
Field Trip #1 (April 2014) – students explore forest ecology & forest health
Field Trip #2 (May 2014) - students participate in their chosen stewardship project.

Forest Stewardship Projects
Each school team will participate in one of the three stewardship projects on Belle Isle:
native garden planting, trail construction, or invasive species control.

Community Open House Events 
The 2014 community open house will take place from 10 am-4 pm, Saturday, May 17. Students will lead tours of their stewardship project to display their accomplishments to their families and other visitors.

Forestry Teaching Resources
Teachers receive a variety of classroom resources ($200 value) to support their teaching about Michigan forests:

Project Learning Tree K-8 Activity & Activity Guide

Project Learning Tree Forests of the World

Project Learning Tree Focus on Forests

Project Learning Tree Michigan Forest Supplement

Trees of Michigan by Stan Tekiela

Trees of Michigan by Linda Kershaw (Lone Pine)

Birds of Michigan

MDNR Invasive Species of Michigan

Birds of Detroit

Aerial Photo of Schoolyard

National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat     

US Fish & Wildlife Service Guide to Planning Schoolyard Natural Areas  

A Forest Measurements Activity Kit has been created and is available for check out from the Belle Isle Nature Zoo by school groups visiting.

Schoolyard Natural Areas created at each school
Each school will receive $300 to create a schoolyard natural area with native species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses typically found in southeast Michigan forests, so classes can observe their own ‘mini-forest’ without taking a field trip.

Summer Forestry Teacher Institute ~ June 23-27, 2014 
This 5-day institute will take place on Belle Isle. The institute includes an overnight stay at Hawk Woods Nature Center in Auburn Hill, MI.  The institute offers a wide variety of presenters from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Technological University, University of Michigan, Michigan Forest Association, Hardwoods of Michigan Sawmill, Michigan Natural Features, Belle Isle Conservancy, and expert teachers.

Project Team

Joan Chadde, Project Manager
Center for Science & Environmental Outreach
115 Great Lakes Research Center - Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI
Phone:  906.487.3341 Email:  jchadde@mtu.edu

Mike Mansour
Hawk Woods Nature Center
Auburn Hills, MI
Phone:  248.370.9353 Email:  mmansour001@comcast.net

Mike Reed
Belle Isle Nature Zoo
Detroit, MI
Phone:  313.852.4056 Email:  mreed@dzs.org

Lisa Perez
USDA Forest Service~ Detroit Urban Connections
Detroit, MI 48238
Phone:  313.494.4735 Email: lperez@fs.fed.us
Web: www.fs.usda.gov/urban-connections

Project Partners
Michigan Technological University
Michigan Alliance for Environmental & Outdoor Education
Hawk Woods Nature Center
Belle Isle Nature Zoo
Michigan Forest Foundation
Detroit Math & Science Center / Detroit Public Schools
Michigan Project Learning Tree

Funding: U.S. Forest Service