Project Learning Tree

PLT-Logo_color.jpgWhat is Project Learning Tree?

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is widely recognized as one of the premier environmental education programs in the world.  Through hands-on, interdisciplinary activities, PLT helps young people learn how to think, not what to think, about complex environmental issues. 

Project Learning Tree is a program of the American Forest Foundation.  In Wisconsin, PLT is sponsored by the LEAF Program in the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education at UW-Stevens Point in partnership with the national PLT program.  Support is also provided by the Wisconsin DNR – Division of Forestry

How does PLT Support Environmental Education in Wisconsin?

As part of the LEAF program, PLT supplements Wisconsin's forestry education curriculum. Introduced in the early 1970’s to meet state standards, PLT provides the tools educators need to bring the environment into their classrooms and their students into the environment. Project Learning Tree uses the forest and trees as “windows” into the natural and built environments, helping students gain awareness of the world around them and their place in it. PLT has unique curriculum for early childhood, K-8, and secondary students.


The K-8 activity guide, which you receive with completion of a workshop, contains 96 hands-on interdisciplinary activities.  Topics include forests, wildlife, water, air, energy, waste, climate change, invasive species, community planning, and culture.  Several of the many activities pertaining to these topics include: Tree Lifecycle; Trees in Trouble; Field, Forest and Stream; Energy Sleuths; Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; and Our Changing World.  


PLT's early childhood education guide developed in 2010, Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood​ targets children ages 3-6.  This guide integrates nature-based exploration, art, literature, math, music and movement, and outdoor play into early childhood education programs. Workshop participants also receive a music and movement CD along with the guide upon completion of an early childhood workshop.


Available to secondary educators are five secondary modules found in Project Learning Tree’s Exploring Environmental Issues series that include:  Focus on Risk, Focus on Forests, Forests of the World Places we Live, and ​Southeastern Forests and Climate Change.

How Can I Access PLT Materials?

Workshops can be scheduled at your facility, or if you are an individual looking for a workshop you can check the LEAF's  Professional Development calendar.  All workshops can be customized for your needs and cost approximately $35.00 per person.  Early Childhood workshops run 2-3 hours in length and qualify for Registry credit. Workshops at the K-8 level run 4-6 hours in length.  Secondary worskhops are 2-3 hours and can be combined with multiple secondary modules or with a K-8 workshop. 


To learn more about Project Learning Tree  in Wisconsin, visit our EE in Wisconsin page​.  You can also read more about the national program at  Or contact Nicole Filizetti, Wisconsin-PLT coordinator, at or 715-498-7241 with questions on how to request a professional development workshop in your area.  

How Does PLT Support Green School Initiatives?

Project Learning Tree's GreenSchools program inspires students to apply their STEM and investigative skills to create greener and healthier schools--and save schools money.  The benefits of becoming a PLT GreenSchool often include significant cost savings, improved student learning and engagement, enhanced student leadership skills, and a healthier school. GreenSchools even includes an early childhood component

Thanks to a close partnership between PLT's GreenSchools program and Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin, schools and districts that register with Green & Healthy Schools receive reciprocal recognition with PLT's GreenSchools.  For this reason, we recommend that schools that are just starting their journey on the green school path go directly through Green & Healthy Schools Wisconsin. For more information visit