Boxing up Ohio’s Forestry Accomplishments

Project Learning Tree encourages students to share the Buckeye State with the rest of the world

COLUMBUS, OH— In honor of the United Nations International Year of Forests this year, young forest ambassadors from Franklin and Highland counties are sharing Ohio with the world, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Forestry. This unique global partnership is being coordinated with Project Learning Tree (PLT).

Middle-school students from several Greenfield schools, guided by their teacher Barb Cook, and students from Deb Todd’s fifth grade class at Slate Hill Elementary in Worthington, assembled numerous items representing Ohio trees and forests. All chosen items had to fit in a 15x15x8 inch cardboard Forest Exchange Box.

The Highland County students are from the gifted and talented programs representing four Greenfield system schools: Buckskin Elementary, Rainsboro Elementary, Greenfield Elementary and Greenfield Middle School.

“We had a great time planning and rounding up items for the Ohio box,” said Cook. “Whenever we use a PLT lesson or activity in class, the students learn a lot and have fun in the process.”

The Slate Hill students received items for the Forest Exchange Box from their Highland County counterparts and added their own research projects highlighting the forests of Ohio. Finishing touches were made to the Ohio box by PLT intern Ron Dreyfus, an urban forestry major at The Ohio State University.

“Our state’s Forest Exchange Box was an especially good learning experience, and the kids are excited about showing off Ohio this way,” said Todd.

“The International Year of Forests designation stresses the human dependence of sustainably managed forests, and PLT has embraced this opportunity for students,” said Robert Boyles, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry, state sponsor of PLT. “We are proud of the students for their hard work on this project, which represents Ohio’s forests to the world.”

Now in Washington, D.C., the Ohio Forest Exchange Box will be showcased this year at a variety of events and conferences throughout the country, along with other boxes made by students from across the United States. In March, the Ohio box will be at a Congressional briefing and reception on America’s forests and the important role of environmental education.

For more information about the UN recognition, visit:

PLT-Ohio is celebrating 30 years of equipping teachers with hands-on lessons and support. International in scope, PLTis an affiliate of the American Forest Foundation and is sponsored in Ohio by the Division of Forestry.

More than 20,000 Ohio educators, natural resource professionals and others have attended one-day PLT sessions or multiple-day facilitator leadership workshops.

Project Learning Tree activity lessons are correlated to state teaching standards for science and social studies. Recent additions to the traditional K-12 lessons include Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood and the Global Connections: Forests of the World secondary module. For workshop, as well as PLT program information and state correlations, visit

Ohio grows more acres of trees than corn and soybeans combined. The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at