Learn to plant and maintain strong, healthy trees that will thrive for generations.

Introduction to the Urban Forest

Learning Objective:

Students will be able to:

  • Describe the benefits of urban forests.

Time: 45 minutes


For each student:

For the class:

  • Photos for preference activity


Show students pictures of urban landscapes with and without trees. Don’t call attention to the differences between the pictures. Instead, facilitate a discussion about which area seems more attractive. Where would students rather be? Why? Guide the discussion so that students are able to conclude that the trees make urban landscapes more appealing. Ask students to talk about how trees make them feel.

Distribute the Urban Forests reading selection. After students have completed the reading selection, hold a group discussion to describe and discuss the benefits of their urban forest.

Visit the study area to begin to evaluate your urban forest. Talk about how the area would appear viewed from the air. (If available, use Google Earth to provide aerial views of the area when you return to the classroom). Help to develop an understanding of how the community of trees planted in and around the school, the plants, the wildlife and any nearby water sources make up your immediate urban forest.

Going deeper:

Prepare a map of the study area and show where the trees are located. If the study area is large, break it into smaller areas and assign different areas to smaller groups of students.