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Delaware Department of
Agriculture

Forestry Education



Arbor Day


Arbor Day Activities

The Delaware Forest Service sponsors an annual Arbor Day Poster Contest for Delaware schoolchildren in grades K-5. The contest is designed to increase student knowledge about trees and forest resources and is also a great way for students to learn about the role trees play in our communities and their direct impact on Delawareans’ health and well-being.

This year’s theme, “Trees are Terrific…for Outdoor Adventures!”, is designed to increase knowledge about the importance of tree diversity in our community forests.

Arbor Day is observed in Delaware on Friday, April 26, 2024.

The poster contest is open to all K-5 public, private, homeschool, after-school, and other organized youth groups. Posters will be judged on originality, use of theme, neatness, and artistic expression. Each winner receives a gift card, a tree-themed book, and a tree planting at their school. Twelve winners will be selected – one from each county – in four grade categories: kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4, and grade 5. All participating classes receive free loblolly pine seedlings delivered to their school, just in time to celebrate Arbor Day!

The 12 winners are invited to the annual Statewide Arbor Day Celebration hosted by Governor Carney! A tree-planting ceremony will also be scheduled at each winner’s school to celebrate Arbor Day.

Planting a tree is a fun activity we can enjoy today, knowing that the tree will continue to improve our lives over time. Trees planted throughout our communities not only provide beauty but help shade our streets and schoolyards and create habitat and food for wildlife. Trees planted today will benefit our communities tomorrow by improving air quality, serving as sound barriers, moderating air temperatures, reducing energy consumption, and filtering run-off into streams and rivers.

Questions: ashley.melvin@delaware.gov


School Poster Contest

2024 Arbor Day Poster Contest Winner

Third-grade student Melody Wang is the state winner of the Delaware Forest Service’s 2024 Arbor Day School Poster Contest. The 2024 theme was “Trees are Terrific…for Outdoor Adventures!” Posters are judged on originality, use of theme, neatness, and artistic expression. Each winner receives a gift card, a tree-themed book, and a tree planting at their school. Twelve winners were selected from each county in four grade categories: kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 and 4, and grade 5. The complete gallery of winners is shown below (click the image to view a full-resolution image of the artwork) The poster contest is designed to increase student knowledge about forests and forest resources. For teachers, the poster contest can be an ideal way for students to learn more about the role of trees in our communities and their direct impact on Delawareans’ health and well-being. The schoolyard is also the perfect setting to incorporate the role of trees into your everyday curriculum. Trees not only provide beauty, shade, habitat, and food for wildlife, but they also improve air quality, muffle noise, moderate air temperatures, filter runoff into streams and rivers, and reduce energy consumption.

2022 marked the 150th anniversary of Arbor Day, the holiday that celebrates planting trees!

View our past poster contest winners on our Arbor Day Celebration page.

Redden Forest Education Center

 

Forestry Education Centers

The Delaware Forest Services operates and manages education centers at Redden State Forest and Blackbird State Forest. These facilities house a variety of interactive displays about Delaware’s forests and their management and provide a comfortable work area for students and teachers to participate in educational activities. Each facility features a classroom for indoor meetings and activities as well as outdoor educational trails for a more dynamic learning experience. The education facilities are open by appointment only on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Make an appointment by contacting ashley.melvin@delaware.gov.

Smokey Bear

The Delaware Forest Service offers Smokey Bear programs each October to all of Delaware’s first-grade classes upon request to help prevent wildfires. In addition, Smokey Bear makes appearances at special events promoting fire safety (fire company open houses, parades, safety fairs, etc.) Due to federal licensing arrangements, Smokey Bear is not permitted to appear at special events in which fire safety is NOT a primary message.

 

Professionally carved Smokey Bear wooden plaque in honor of his 80th birthday.

 

In 2024, the Delaware Forest Service celebrated Smokey Bear’s 80th birthday with various activities throughout the year. Efforts included a statewide tour of Delaware Libraries, the Smokey Bear Reading Challenge, a professionally carved sculpture of Smokey Bear displayed at the Delaware State Fair, and Smokey Bear throwing the first pitch at the Wilmington Blue Rocks game.

Speakers Bureau

Our foresters will provide a variety of forestry programs to schools and civic organizations, including:

  • Wildland firefighting and wildfire prevention;
  • Forest health (i.e. disease identification/prevention and pest control);
  • Forest management (i.e. timber harvesting, reforestation);
  • Watershed forestry (using trees to improve water quality);
  • Urban forestry (improving and maintaining forest resources in Delaware’s cities, towns, and communities); and
  • Careers in forestry

For school presentations, our staff will customize the presentation to any specific grade level.

 

Project Learning Tree

The Delaware Forest Service strives to integrate Project Learning Tree (PLT) activities into daily classroom lessons. This award-winning environmental education program is designed for educators who work with students in kindergarten through grade 12. Contact us at the email address below to learn more about how this program can benefit your school.

Email:
Ashley Melvin

 


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