The Beauty and Wonder of Trees Project is an environmental art program and photography exhibition geared towards children, grades K-6, and their grown-ups, which explores the expansive and expressive nature of our planet’s largest and most important plant.

Trees are a vast repository of wisdom; a bridge between historical memory and daily life. The exhibition seeks to nurture a sense of interconnection with nature that goes beyond science, sparks the imagination and touches the heart. At the same time, the project seeks to teach children and their grown-ups the importance of caring about the trees in their immediate environment. It also seeks to help them recognize and appreciate the numerous benefits of trees, as well as the sense of beauty and wonder they evoke.

Spending time with trees has been found to have a beneficial and therapeutic effect for both children and adults. Researchers also have discovered that daily contact with nature helps children cultivate imagination, creativity, intellectual development and social relationships. Furthermore, “green time” is believed to be an effective supplement for anyone experiencing symptoms of ADD or ADHD.

The Beauty and Wonder of Trees Project promotes environmental awarenessecological literacy and global citizenship. Children learn the principles of environmental stewardship through viewing the photography exhibition and engaging in the interactive activities contained in the project’s workbook. Activities include observation exercises; games; drawing; coloring; point-and-shoot or cellphone photography; writing, and storytelling about trees. As a result of these firsthand interactions, children are able to see their neighborhoods, local playgrounds, community parks, and local forest preserves in a positive new light, and deepen their understanding of the value of trees.

Inspired by the work of the late Nobel Laureate Dr. Wangari Maathai and the women of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya, The Beauty and Wonder of Trees Project was created and photographed by Jeri Love, a professional writer and award-winning, fine art nature photographer.

In addition, The Beauty and Wonder of Trees Project is a creative community- building endeavor that seeks to build alliances and partnerships to promote the environmental, health and spiritual benefits of trees. Recommended activities also outlined in the project workbook include caring for and planting trees as part of a school activity, scouting adventure, religious tradition, block club effort, or community development endeavor.

The Beauty and Wonder of Trees Project is suitable for museums, art institutes, children’s museums; nature museums; nature centers; public libraries, municipal tree programs, environmental education curricula, Scouts, nature clubs, or any group concerned about the well-being of children, the environment and the planet’s future. Local civic, religious, campus or government organizations can also commission a tree photography project in support of their efforts to promote tree awareness.

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