Trees remove potentially harmful carbon dioxide from the air, and add oxygen. They provide fruit, prevent flooding by absorbing water, reduce erosion and help to cool our houses. Rain forest trees provide many different medicines. Children can be very effective in helping to protect trees. They can educate the public about the importance of trees in the rain forest and elsewhere, plant trees, encourage government officials to help trees, and join a number of programs and organizations that promote forestry.
Plant a Tree Event
Kids can help by planting some trees locally. A Plant a Tree event can be coordinated with National Arbor Day, the last Friday in April, to increase the number of trees in the neighborhood. The Arbor Day Foundation will send members 10 free trees that grow well locally for the price of a 10-dollar membership. To organize this event, an adult can sign up the youngster and order the trees. Participants can decide where to plant the trees. If they choose a public area, they should obtain written permission. To prepare the tree for planting, soak the roots in water for three to six hours. Then dig a hole that is as deep as the roots and twice as wide. Fill in the dirt, pack it down, and water the tree. Spread a layer of mulch around the tree.
Make Your Town a Tree City
Youngsters can get the word out to town officials and the public to have their town become a Tree City. The Arbor Day Foundation sponsors a Tree City USA program in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. The program provides direction and national recognition for forestry programs in local communities. Currently there are over 3,400 Tree City communities. Signs alerting visitors that they are entering a Tree City indicate that the town cares about preserving the environment. One benefit of membership in the program is that communities with the Tree City designation sometimes get preference for grant money to fund tree and forestry programs.
Save Trees in the Rainforest
Children can join in the worldwide effort to save the trees in the rain forest, which provide many of our medicines, crops, plants and animals. The TREES program is an important way to rally support. The letters that spell "TREES" come from these five basic steps: teaching people about the environment and the rain forest; restoring damaged areas by planting trees; encouraging people to live environmentally responsible lives; establishing parks to protect rain forests; and supporting environmentally friendly, "green" companies. Youngsters can participate by holding a school event to teach the public about rain forests, planting trees, writing to government officials to ask them to set aside parkland and finding out which companies can supply "green" supplies to their schools.
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