Canadian Environmental Education and Tree Planting Projects

For nearly 20 years, The ChariTree Foundation has focused on providing experiential, hands on environmental education to children in Canada and the Global South including rural and urban children’s tree planting projects, outdoor classrooms and beach clean up parties. Please see below for details about The ChariTree Foundation’s latest ‘A Tree For Every Child’ national tree planting project.

APPLY NOW: The ChariTree Foundation 2024 Camp Tree Planting & Environmental Education Grant is Open

Vancouver, BC — 18/4/2024 — The ChariTree Foundation has just launched their updated program so even more children and youth at summer camps across Canada can participate in a ground-breaking national children’s tree planting and biodiversity education project.

More than 100,000 children at Canadian Camping Association (CCA) summer camps across Canada have already planted trees with camp staff and now The ChariTree Foundation wants to give even more kids an opportunity to plant a tree and learn about the importance of trees.

“This is a fun way to get kids outside, teach them to plant a variety of native tree species and care about their world,” says Andrea Koehle Jones, award-winning environmental education advocate and executive director, The ChariTree Foundation. She hopes to give thousands of campers at 100 camps an opportunity to plant a tree this summer. “When children understand trees and how they impact the world they depend on, they are more likely to make a lifelong commitment to protect the environment for themselves and future generations.”

How to Host a Kid’s Tree-Planting Party For Spring: Get kids outdoors & care for our planet with more sustainable fun by Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder, The ChariTree Foundation. EcoParent Magazine (March 2024)

Camp owners and directors can apply now for a $1,000 grant to:

  • purchase fruit trees and / or native trees and seedlings for your campers to plant (ideally a variety of native tree species from your local tree farms and nurseries)
  • bring in environmental education experts like teachers, biologists, arborists… to help kids plant and learn about trees and biodiversity
  • host a children’s tree planting party for campers

“There is something magical about the act of planting a tree. It is one of the best ways to foster hope and empowerment for a greener future. Kids love taking part in this meaningful act. Thank you for the opportunity.” — Jacob Rodenburg, an award-winning educator, author, executive director of Camp Kawartha, a summer camp and outdoor education center, and instructor in environmental education at Trent University, ON

*Apply between April 20 – June 10, 2024. Grants will be provided to CCA camps until the grant fund runs out so apply early. Successful applications will be announced by email and delivered by June 12, 2024.

When children plant trees they can learn:

  • hands-on experience changing the world by learning how to plant and care for a tree
  • STEM tree science and ecology
  • forest connectivity and cooperation
  • compassion for trees
  • tree and forest conservation
  • benefits of forest diversity and planting native and diverse tree species to increase wildlife habitats, pest and disease resistance and resilience to devastating climate change impacts
  • how to boost community resiliency by participating in efforts to address the challenges posed by climate change and biodiversity loss

Tree Planting Projects for Kids

  • encourages children to spend time outdoors to engage in physical activity and reduce stress. Digging, watering, and caring for trees provide opportunities for exercise and fresh air
  • develops a connection and appreciation for their community and nature as well as compassion for forest life
  • provides a hands-on learning environmental education experience that complements their classroom education. Children learn various educational subjects such as science, geography, and ecology including topics like photosynthesis, soil health, biodiversity, species conservation and protection as well as climate change through direct observation, interaction and teamwork
  • fosters a sense of hopefulness, empowerment and responsibility for the planet from a young age that can inspire future climate leaders

“We had lots of fun with this tree planting project. With a certified arborist on our team we made good use of the trees with strategic placement while making it a fun time for our campers.” – Derrik, Lake Scugog Camp.

Please do not email The ChariTree Foundation about this program as everything will be coordinated through the application link. If you have any questions review the FAQ page and watch for announcements on + @Love_Trees.

“We successfully planted 300 saplings at Camp Wenonah in July this year! It was a unique experience for campers and staff alike, providing them with the opportunity to bond with nature and contribute to the land of the Camp they all hold so dear. Every camper, ages 8-18, had the chance to plant a tree in the location of their choice- some groups even planted tree gardens near their cabins which they could revisit and watch with care. Thank you ChariTree Foundation for providing us with this wonderful opportunity.” – Janette, Assistant Director, Camp Wenonah

The ChariTree Foundation is a national non-profit connecting children across Canada and around the world to environmental education to help them survive and thrive today and lead a better tomorrow. 

“Thank you again for this great initiative. Wonderful idea, and a hit with our campers.” — Miles Villneff, Assistant Director, Onondaga Camp.

The ChariTree Foundation’s ‘A Tree for Every Child’ environmental education tree planting initiative.

Supporting environmental education projects across Canada

Starting during the pandemic, The ChariTree Foundation has been expanding its climate education mandate by helping schools and children’s camps across Canada build outdoor classrooms. 

The goal is to get kids outdoors more and give them more opportunities to participate in accessible outdoor learning, climate and biodiversity education programs. 

“Outdoor classrooms offer students powerful environmental education opportunities and opportunities and build connections with each other and the natural world around them.” — Andrea Koehle Jones, The ChariTree Foundation’s executive director and children’s climate education advocate.

Outdoor classrooms allow students (and teachers) to:

  • develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world and foster a sense of stewardship for the environment. This connection with nature can lead to a greater understanding of ecological concepts and sustainability. 
  • boost health by promoting movement, exploration, and hands-on learning, contributing to better overall health for students. Plus nature has a calming effect reducing stress and anxiety levels. 
  • improve attention span, creativity and cognitive function.

The ChariTree Foundation has helped fund outdoor classrooms as well as opportunities for inner city classes to participate in various outdoor education programs. ChariTree also helps send campers who can’t afford summer camp to various Canadian Camping Association camps with environmental education programs.

“All kids, regardless of their economic circumstance, deserve the chance to be immersed in, to find the joy + beauty in #nature. Thanks to The ChariTree Foundation, this is something they will remember for many years to come!”~ Jacob Rodenburg, Camp Kawartha + Trent University

How to Host a Kids’ Beach Clean-up Party: Helping the Planet & Having Fun Doing It! 
by Andrea Koehle Jones, Founder, The ChariTree Foundation. EcoParent Magazine (March 2023)

Inspiring Beach Cleanup Parties

Prepare to be astonished by the sheer volume of debris that accumulates over time and witness the incredible impact that an enthusiastic group of kids can achieve in just a few hours. LEARN HOW TO HOST A BEACH CLEAN-UP PARTY.