Richmond, Va. – Dominion Resources and its award-winning environmental education program, Project Plant It!, will celebrate a milestone in April with the ceremonial planting of the 100,000th tree distributed to students since the program was launched in 2007.
According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, the equivalent of more than 250 acres of new forest land will be created if all 100,000-plus tree seedlings are planted and grow to maturity.
Along with this landmark commemoration April 26 at an elementary school in Norfolk, Va., other tree-planting events will take place on Arbor Day, April 29, at schools throughout the seven states that participate in Project Plant It!
Now in its fifth year, Project Plant It!, is a partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation. It was developed to educate children about the important role of trees in the ecosystem and to improve the environment by planting trees. The program operates in seven states: Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and, the newest addition in 2011, Wisconsin.
Teachers participating in Project Plant It! receive a comprehensive kit of instructional materials, including creative lesson plans, posters, Arbor Day Ranger stickers and certificates for each student. At the conclusion of the program, each student receives a tree seedling to plant at home on Arbor Day. The educational materials and the tree seedlings are provided by Dominion at no cost to the schools.
“Project Plant It! is a natural outgrowth of our company’s commitment to education and the environment,” said Pamela Faggert, vice president and chief environmental officer for Dominion. “This program has provided an innovative, creative way to engage students and their families in an enriching learning experience that will make a positive difference for the environment. Most importantly, children can make a personal contribution to our ecosystem by planting a tree and watching it grow over the years.”
“Each year, we closely evaluate all programs that are offered to our students. Project Plant It! provides high quality instructional materials that align with state Standards of Learning in language arts, math, science and social studies,” said Dr. Jean R. Young, Supervisor of Science for Spotsylvania County Public Schools. “The science lesson plans, for example, sharpen a student’s skills in scientific observation and analysis. Also, the lesson plans emphasize 21st century skills such as communicating and collaborating in teams, while building a more global awareness about our environment.”
Information about Project Plant It! and the lesson plans, as well as videos about planting and caring for trees, interactive games and family-friendly outdoor projects, are available at: www.projectplantit.com. A new feature to the website this year was “Tree Me!,” a creativity contest that invited students to dress like different parts of a tree and submit a photo of their People Tree for a chance to win a $2,000 cash prize.
Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation’s largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s website at www.dom.com