POSTED ON BEHALF OF KATIE KASSOF
The Potomac Conservancy is a local non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the Potomac watershed area, both land and water. One of their current activities is creating an urban tree canopy. To do this, they are working on planting more trees in Fredrick County, Md and have enlisted the help of K-12 students from the local area to plant over 19 acres of trees. More information can be found on their website: http://www.potomac.org/site/urban-tree-canopy/.
I feel this is an activity that anyone, K-12, can participate in and get something out of. Of course different educational goals would be set depending on the age of the students. It could be organized through a school with corresponding curriculum about the importance of trees, erosion control, how watersheds work, etc. It could also be organized informally with a community group like scouts or church groups where the participants will be learning more about organizing activities for community benefit and maybe some environmental education about the types of trees being planted.
Personally, I would like to have an older group of students incorporate this into a section focusing on land degradation and restoration processes. This can include run-off, man-made erosion, lack of habitat, etc. A section like this in an environmental science class would open the door for this community service activity to become a real learning opportunity about something larger than just planting trees. Perhaps the students can do this section before going to the activity and host an informal class or presentation at the planting for the other participants.
The two main pillars of peace education this would satisfy are community building and exploring approaches to peace. Additionally, multiple intelligences are addressed with this combination of classroom and experiential education