Urban youth across the five boroughs are learning respect in a tree-mendous way-literally! NYRP's RespecTree education program has completed its adventurous outdoor field trip "Talking Trees," with students from P.S. 234, P.S. 384, P.S. 9, P.S. 111, and J.H.S 062. RespecTree encourages students to dig in and get their hands dirty by participating in tree-planting and other greening activities, while playing games and having fun. The "Talking Trees" field trip allows students to "dish the dirt" by discussing and learning the process of urban forestry restoration and how to better relate to their green surroundings. Read on to learn just how these children are getting to know their local urban forest.

Meet-A-Tree: How do you get to know a tree without seeing it? Use your other senses-except for your ability to taste! In groups of three, students blindfold one of their group members and lead them to a tree where they can get to know it by touch, smell, and sound. When the blindfold is removed, the student has to find the tree they met keeping in mind the senses they used in order to identify the tree. Everyone becomes a tree-hugger during this game.

Layers of the Forest: Students learn about how an urban forest sustains itself through its layers by playing a dice game. Students roll, or toss, huge dice. The more points they earn, the closer they get to reaching the top layer (the emergent layer) of their urban forest. Other activities include racing to various spaces that represent the forest's various layers.

Restoration Walk: Students of the program are introduced to Swindler Cove Park, which was once an illegal dumping site, but has since been transformed into an oasis of green space. While exploring the site, they learn about how the garden was restored and what habitats the site has to offer for the city's living inhabitants. Occasionally, students even receive a warm welcome from the Cove's local creatures.

Highbridge Hike: Students hike within Highbridge Park, where they get to explore the park's urban forest. Drawing upon their knowledge from "Layers of the Forest," students put their education to use and begin to understand how a forest sustains itself. 



Monday, January 10, 2011 8:43 PM
Hello! I was from P.S.234 and went to that trip to! It was really fun and educating! I truly had an AWESOME time!

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