Terrific Trees Education Workshop: Trees as a Tool for Climate Action
Development and delivery of this Terrific Tree Workshop, funded by San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) under their Climate Action Education Grant Program for 2017-2018, enables us to teach the many ways trees can improve human and environmental health. They defend against climate change by sequestering carbon, cooling our temperatures with shade, reducing stormwater run-off, erosion, and air pollution, and many other benefits. Tree canopy is inadequate in our region, and one reason is lack of citizen knowledge of how to pick the best trees and use them in the best way. The Terrific Tree Workshop will inform, empower, and energize people to employ the power of trees.
The workshop is currently geared to youth but is informative for adults as well. The first workshops are being given to all fifth graders from three elementary schools in underserved communities: Cherokee, Sherman, and Porter. The outdoor portion of the workshops is on three dates in May 2018 in Balboa Park. Because underserved communities are often the most vulnerable to climate change effects, they will especially benefit from learning how to use trees to mitigate those negative impacts.
The workshop consists of four modules, the first in the classroom, and three in an outdoor setting. It fits with Next Generation Science Standards being implemented in our school systems. Students who complete it receive an official Tree Steward Certification on the subject of Terrific Trees. By adding the workshop to our San Diego Regional Tree Steward Certification Program offerings, it will be available to others across our County.
Balboa Park Conservancy (https://balboaparkconservancy.org) is a direct project partner and supporting partners are City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department, San Diego Coastkeeper, and University of California San Diego (UCSD).