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Press Release

March 16, 2017

Game Commission's "Seedlings for Schools" program informs youth



The program is generously supported by:
Wildlife for Everyone Foundation
The Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania
First National Bank (through the PA Tax Credit Program)
The JDN Foundation
Jennifer Speers
Barton & Kristina Smith



State College, PA - A fifth grade student recounts in a thank you letter how he's been taking care of the white pine seedling given to him as part of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's Seedlings for Schools program last year. "I followed the directions and I hope it will grow to be big and strong. My pap and I put a barrel over it so no snow would hurt it," he states. Opportunities to plant and care for a tree seedling do not present themselves to youth readily, even less so to children in an urban setting. That's why Seedlings for Schools, a program of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, is so important. Since its inception in 2008, over 1 million seedlings have been distributed to schools statewide. Last year, 195,000 tree seedlings were produced and distributed from Howard Nursery in Centre County, which is managed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Howard Nursery grows the seedlings and Wildlife for Everyone Foundation, a non-profit organization based in State College that promotes wildlife conservation and education, secures private funds to support the overall program. "I can’t think of any educational experience better than getting teachers, students and families working together outside to plant trees and make a real connection to our state’s beautiful outdoors," said Jerry Regan, President of the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation.

The seedlings are delivered at the end of April, which dovetails nicely with Earth Day celebrations. "Without your willingness to donate (the seedlings), our Earth Day (celebration) would have been more of a challenge," says Mrs. Cherie Bower, Literature teacher at Holy Trinity Catholic School in Altoona, PA. “Because of you, we were able to pot over 300 seedlings for the children of Holy Trinity School to take home and plant. We also were able to plant five on school grounds and the remaining 195 were planted in the community,” adds Bower. "Through programs such as these, we have seen many lives changed for the better," concludes Bower.

The Seedlings for Schools program is open to all Pre K - 12 grades in Pennsylvania. Any teacher can request seedlings and educational packets at no cost through March 24 by visiting the agency's website at www.pgc.pa.gov. Enough seedlings will be sent for each student to take one home to plant. Choices this year are white spruce and silky dogwood. Planting instructions come with the seedlings and can be accessed through the website. Curriculum materials and student activity sheets are provided to assist teachers with lesson plans that inform students about the impact of trees on wildlife habitat.

The Wildlife for Everyone Foundation has raised over $20,000 in past years to cover the expense of shipping the seedlings across the state. Individuals and groups who would like the program to continue can send donations to the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation, 341 Science Park Road, State College, PA 16803 or email to info@wildlifeforeveryone.org for more information.

The vision of the Wildlife for Everyone Foundation is to be the leading advocate for wildlife conservation in Pennsylvania. The foundation was formed in 2004 to provide all wildlife enthusiasts with a way to show their commitment through much-needed financial support for wildlife conservation efforts and education. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised millions of dollars to support projects including wildlife and wetland habitat improvements, creek and lake restorations, the Seedlings for Schools program and student educational opportunities. The Foundation’s mission connects all wildlife and nature enthusiasts to the great outdoors, including birders, hunters, anglers, students and everyone with an appreciation for nature's treasures. For more information, visit www.wildlifeforeveryone.org.

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