Plant for the Planet is a free program for all youth grades 4th through 12th and their familiesto make a difference in Climate Change & Recovery
Ten years ago, a 9 year old German boy, Felix Finkbeiner, planted a seed that has yielded over 15 billion trees. That seed was the Plant for the Planet children’s climate change program and it has since spread to 54 nations with 55,000 children and youth participating.
On Saturday, Nov. 18th, 2107 the program arrived in Salem OR. Over forty children and 15 adults gathered for a full day Plant for the Planet Acaemy at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church to learn about the causes and solutions to climate change.
The event was sponsored by 350 Salem, OR and Salem Environmental Education, a local group providing environmental educational opportunities for citizens of all ages. Event organizer, Linda Wallmark with 350 Salem OR, stated the goal of the program, “We want to empower children and youth to tackle the issue of climate change head on. For too long, the adults in this world have looked the other way while our climate and the life that depends upon it disintegrates. The children must engage to protect their own futures.”
Plant for the Planet not only was started by a child, it is also led by children. The 34 young people came from 11 different schools and ranged in age from 5th graders to 12th graders. Four youth, known as Climate Justice Ambassadors, led the activities during the day, backed by assistance from 15 adult volunteers. After learning about climate science and climate justice from a slide show presentation, all the participants practiced presenting specific slides. Some of the newly trained students presented the slide show to parents and guests in the afternoon. Mayor Chuck Bennett; Salem-Keizer Schools Community School Outreach Coordinator, Kathleen Jonathan; and Stacy Jochimson from Sen. Merkley’s office also came to offer encouragement during the day.
The Education Action Group of 350 Salem OR seeks to inform community, student and faith groups about climate change and promote action to address it. We do this through presentations, sponsoring discussion groups, tabling at events, and establishing connections with other groups. We are constantly expanding our approaches and opportunities to educate the public about climate change.
We have a plan to keep climate change in the public eye here in Salem with a flow of Letters to the Editor (aka LTEs) to the Statesman Journal. To learn more or to join the LTE crew, please go here.
We assist students at Willamette University who are interested in promoting divestment of campus funds from the fossil fuel industry. Our role is to solicit student, alumni, faculty and staff signatures on a divestment petition. If you or someone you know is affiliated with Willamette University in this way, please consider supporting the Divest Willamette Campaign.
If you would like more information, or to join the Education Action Group, or to request a presentation or information table at your organization or event, please fill out and submit this form and put your request in the comment box.