Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Love Surrounds Us: A Program on the UU Principles and Beloved Community for Grades K-1

Faith In Action: Planting Trees

Materials for Activity

  • Information about various tree-planting campaigns
  • Poster paper and markers, and masking tape
  • Can or box for collecting money

Preparation for Activity

  • Explore tree-planting options at the Arbor Day Foundation; membership in the Arbor Day Foundation is $10 and members receive 10 free trees upon joining. Or learn more about the United Nations Billion Tree campaign that the UN turned over to children, the next generation, via the Plant for the Planet Foundation. Alternatively, explore a local organization, for example Trees Atlanta.
  • Choose a project and secure appropriate congregational permissions.
  • Choose native or non-invasive trees to plant and purchase or find smaller, free trees.
  • Set a date for planting trees.
  • Publicize your effort and sign up volunteers.
  • Contact local media if you will have a planting ceremony.

Description of Activity

Plan and implement a project to engage children in the direct action of planting trees that will help protect the environment for future generations.

Once you have decided on the particulars of your project, help participants make posters to advertise the tree planting and attract volunteers to help. You may decide to ask individual families to "sponsor" a tree if they need to be purchased or find a local nursery that would be willing to donate a few trees. If possible, ask families if they can get one or more of the trees to be planted after the arrangements have been made; this way, children will see the process from start to finish.

Give participants active roles in the actual planting so they will understand all that goes into the tree planting. Talk to participants about the importance of trees and tell them about the particular kinds of trees you are planting. On the day of the planting, make sure to take pictures of the young trees and the participants planting them. You might display a photo montage of the project for members of the congregation. After the planting, publicly thank all the people involved in the project. Consider holding a worship service on the environment or trees on the day you will do the planting. If this is not possible, highlight the tree planting during a later worship service. If your congregation celebrates a Water Communion at the start of the program year, consider using some of the water from that to water the trees each fall.

Including All Participants

Pair children with limited abilities with others who can help them make posters and plant the trees.

Make sure at least one of the planting locations is accessible to everyone.