The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is honored to host the Project Learning Tree International Coordinators’ Conference May 19- 22 in Traverse City. Project Learning Tree (PLT), a program of the American Forest Foundation, uses forests as a window on the world and provides educators with environmental education resources that inspire youth from all grade levels.

A total of 125 environmental educators, including representatives from 47 states, Mexico, Japan and Puerto Rico will be in attendance.

The conference venue is moved each year. In its 28th year, this is the first time it will be hosted in Michigan.

Many local businesses have supported the conference by donating silent auction items. All proceeds will support environmental and outdoor education in Michigan.

“This conference has created many partnerships in Michigan that will last long after the attendees return home,” said Kathy McGlauflin, senior vice president of education, American Forest Foundation.

“A great aspect of this annual conference is that we always try to make a lasting impact in the community,” said Ada Takacs, Michigan Project Learning Tree coordinator. “One way this is happening is through support from the Albert I. Pierce Foundation and a partnership with the Grand Traverse Conservation District.”

Mill Creek Elementary School students worked with Michigan artist, Nick van Frankenhuyzen, to journal and sketch what they see in nature and Grand Traverse Academy High School students worked through the Junior Achievement Company program to suggest marketing strategies to sell the artwork. Products created through these efforts will be on sale during the conference and the proceeds will go directly to the schools.

Attendees will be greeted by student volunteers at the Park Place Hotel and will have the opportunity to enjoy a trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes and American Waste, as well as a celebration at the Grand Traverse Conservation District on May 21, where the group will work on a mural. Photos of the completed project will be distributed across the state to highlight conservation awareness.

To find out more about Michigan’s Project Learning Tree program, visit www.michiganplt.org.


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