Slideshow slideshow!



Here’s a slideshow of a slideshow, featuring a team of students giving their 5th grade assembly an introduction to Plant-For-The-Planet!







The students had a blast, answered questions, and now everybody at school wants to plant TREES! and become an ambassador too.

If you would like to know how to host an assembly for a slideshow at your school, just leave a request below in the comments. If you have questions about how to get involved with Plant-For-The-Planet as an ambassador or as a grownup, please ask!

Seattle Children Demand Climate Justice

Oct. 17, 2013 | KCTS9



REPOSTED From Earthfix

“I’m here to draw the line because my future is on that line,” says Gabriel Mandell, 11, a climate justice ambassador at a recent rally in Seattle.

credit: Plant-for-the-Planet Seattle

SEATTLE — Gabriel Mandell is standing on stage at a recent anti-climate rally at a Seattle park squeezed between the railroad tracks and Elliott Bay.

“We’re on the fossil fuel nightmare express hurtling into a future we do not want,” he yells into the microphone. “To get off this train before it gets too far down the tracks, we have to stop Keystone XL! We have to stop the coal trains!”

The crowd of hundreds cheers in agreement.

Mandell’s voice is big and booming, but the rest of him is quite small.

He’s 11 years old, just starting middle school. And he’s flanked by a handful of other adolescents, kids who call themselves climate justice ambassadors.

“We want you to look at our faces to remind you why we need to draw the line against fossil fuel exports in the Northwest,” Mandell says to the crowd.

Mandell and his crew are part of a growing number of children worldwide who are asking adults and governments to take action to fight climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A recent Unicef study (pdf) found that children around the world will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change. The study points out that children growing up today will experience first hand effects of climate change in the form of increased droughts, floods and storms. In the 10 most vulnerable countries, including India, Bangladesh and the Philippines, there are 620 million children under 18.

Mandell says he was inspired by the story of a 9-year-old boy from Germany named Felix Finkbeiner who started the Plant-for-the-Planet campaign, an effort to plant a billion trees worldwide.

Subsequent Plant-for-the-Planet chapters have sprung up around the world with children participating in academies to learn how to make an impact by studying climate change effects and developing public speaking skills.

Stella Foster
Climate justice ambassador Stella Foster

This past spring the first Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in the United States took place in Seattle and Mandell was one of 80 children to participate. On Oct. 26, two more academies are being held in Seattle with space for 160 children.

Michael Foster is the behind-the-scenes parent organizing these workshops. His two daughters took part in the May workshop and have since taken action through planting trees, writing letters, talking to elected officials and giving public presentations about the impacts of climate change.

Children talking about climate change are difficult to ignore, Foster says.

Last year, 12-year-old Rachel Howell captivated audiences at the final scoping hearing for the Gateway Pacific coal export terminal proposed to be built near Bellingham, Wash. She said, “My generation will pay a high price for the global warming that you do. This is the future that you’re creating for us and this isn’t the future that we want so please don’t build these coal export terminals, it’s just not fair to my generation.”

Watch Rachel’s testimony in the EarthFix documentary COAL.

Mandell, following in Howell’s footsteps, spoke this week in Tacoma at the final scoping hearing for the proposed Longview coal export terminal.

“We need to do more,” Mandell said. “We need to act as if our lives depend on it. Because they do.”

— Katie Campbell


Plant-For-The-Planet and Wangari Maathai are the stars of the blogathon this week at Daily KOS. The article gives you a good introduction to Plant-For-The-Planet, even though it focuses on my volunteer work getting the group started here in Seattle.

Take a minute to read the article and spread the word to friends who might not have heard of us, and who might want to get involved and volunteer to start a Plant-For-The-Planet Academy in their neighborhood. The goal is to see Plant-For-The-Planet changing the conversation across the country this year. Everyone who hears about this group is amazed and inspired, and often offer to help out. Who do you know who can help? Maybe someone who hasn’t heard of the 1,000 Billion Tree Campaign?

If you’d like to volunteer with Plant-For-The-Planet we have so many good things that need doing.

In Seattle we’re holding a volunteer training on October 5th at Camp Long in preparation for our next Academies. To sign up or find out more leave a comment here!

5th Grade Promotion Address

As we start the school year, listen to the incredibly wise words of this graduating 5th grader speaking to his school in June 2013, a transcript sent to me from his teacher along with a simple note:

I thought you might like to read Michael G’s promotion address. Just in case we ever wonder about the impact we have on children, the seeds we help plant or gardens we help cultivate – here’s testimony your effect on him and to the amazing ability of children – this one especially, a gifted  and profound thinker. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for all you do for all of us. –K

5th Grade Promotion Address by Michael G.

All humans are different – or so they say. But really we are more or less the same.
Now, close your eyes. Imagine a cell floating in a vast, empty body of sea water. Then
imagine the cell splitting into two new cells.

This is the foundation for all life on earth- Humans, dogs, cats, birds, the trees in which
the birds perch, even the moss on the curbside, all come from that one cell splitting. But this is
not the only way we are the same.

We share hopes, dreams, fears, promises, strengths, weakness, interests, and a wish for a
better tomorrow. Some of you may remember Michael Foster, the Plant for the Planet guy. He,
along with Islandwood, the PMR fieldtrip, the ISP and even the green team members on their
shifts, taught us that the world needs to be cared for.

Look to the person next to you. Not only does what you do to harm the environment
affect you, it also affects that person next to you. This is how we are all connected.

Team work is what makes humans human. For instance when the first Homo Habilis left
Africa, the team work that they had adapted when they were on the Australopithecus Africanus
stage of the evolutionary ladder helped them out in this new unfamiliar climate. And even back
in their earlier stage they had adapted skills of team work to defend against forbidding threats.
You see how evolution and team work are tied in. Team work is essential for survival. At their
core humans are social animals.

Some of us remember Fun Day, the day where we went to the beach. At first, we
scattered like dandelion seeds in the wind. But at the end of the day, many of us worked together
on an elaborate canal system. No one told us to do it; we just did it as social beings, classmates,
brethren, and friends. We are bonded by our shared past, and our hopes for the future.

I remember the day I came to Lincoln in 4th grade-only knew 4 kids, 2 of them barely.
But because the kids here are so welcoming to new students, I ended up befriending the vast
majority of the 4th graders. I have gotten to know not only today’s 5th graders, but many kids in
other grades. Because kids here at Lincoln stay so open and willing to connect with new comers,
many kids arriving this year have made many new friends like I did.

And as we progress into Hamilton Middle School, keep in mind that we must all be
connected, and must remain so even when we part and go our separate ways. For there are many
challenges along the Road of Life, and you are always going to need someone to help you out
with these challenges.

As a final action in my elementary school career, I would like to thank everyone for
helping my progress, for listening to this speech, and for just enjoying this unique day.
Thank you.

They Matter (VIDEO)

A beautiful, moving video from the iMatter Earth Day March back in April, reminding us to love our kids, and our only home. Our children have some strong words for us to hear and honor. They depend on us to protect their future.

The children were protesting the proposal to expand coal exports through Seattle and the Northwest from 2 – 3 trains per day to 18 – 37 trains per day, so Peabody Coal can sell it as quickly as possible to Asia for the next few years. The additional CO2 emissions will more than equal the emissions from the Keystone XL pipeline if allowed.

Our PBS station created a wonderful documentary, COAL. Here’s a preview:

Solstice Parade “Procession For Our Future” Needs You to Stop A Coal Train!

Sign up for the parade or to make art here! for the “Procession for our Future” coal train vs. sustainable energy ensemble in the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade! Please join us for a workshop, the parade, or both!
Next Art Workshop is on  Saturday, June 1st 3:00-7:00 at the Powerhouse: 3940 Fremont Ave N. 
Inline image 1  Inline image 3
This ensemble will have a coal train driven by skull masked people that transforms into beautiful murals when we implore the audience to help us stop it (photos above, but no words or letters will be allowed in the parade). There will be windmill stilters, and windmill props to carry, solar panel costumes, a tide turbine with people dressed as water making it move, animal masked and otherwise dressed up kids of all ages, beautiful fluttering butterflies, boats, flags and banners, herring and salmon puppets, a band, and more! You and your families are welcome to join us to create more art and to be in the parade!  
Save these dates:
Saturday, June 1, 3:00-7:00 at the Powerhouse: 3940 Fremont Ave N.
Monday, June 10th, 4:00-9:00 at the Powerhouse: 3940 Fremont Ave N.
Saturday, June 15th, Workshop and Rehearsal 10:00-4:00 at Sierra Club: 180 Nickerson St #202 (parking lot) 
Saturday, June 22nd Parade 3:00 in Fremont (be there by 1:30)
More information about the Art Workshop is below.
Inline image 4  Inline image 5  

Drop in to the art workshop any time, and stay as long as you’re having fun! Your contribution will be instrumental, so we invite you to be as much a part of it as you can! Even if you can’t join the parade, please come make art with us! Youth and adults welcome! (parents needed to help your younger kids.) 

What we’ll be doing: People of all ages will make paper mache puppet masks, cut out and folded-paper masks, paint windmills and solar panels, small flags with sun block prints in two colors on fabric, and more flags with drawings in fabric crayons. Teens, tweens, and adults will paint the last train car frames and perhaps rain barrels, and boat costumes on boxes. We’ll expand outside in clear weather.

Supplies we still need, please let us know if you have any:
primer latex paint
approximately 1″ diameter by 8′ to 10′ long bamboo poles for the windmills
top hats (for train conductors – will get stapled to skull masks)
large cardboard boxes roughly 2x2x3, 2x4x2, 2x2x4, 3x3x5, etc. (for buildings, boats, barrels for people to wear for costumes)
small bamboo or other stakes about 2′ lengths (for flags)
recycled or extra fabrics (for animal and bird costumes, sails, etc.)
yarn, raffia, trim, feathers, and ribbon (for the masks an costumes)
what else do you have that you think would make great costumes or props?
We’ll have a snack table, so please bring something to share!
This ensemble is supported in part by a grant from the Fremont Arts Council to create costumes and props. Additional images supplied by the Backbone Campaign and local artists.
Check out other great opportunities to get involved in the parade and learn skills here:
Hope to see you soon!

Art Build May 19th: Coal Train for Solstice Parade

If you missed the first Art Build for Earth Day, Come out and make art with us for “Procession for our Future” the coal train vs. sustainable energy ensemble in the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade!  We’ll be at the Powerhouse, 3940 Fremont Ave N. from 10-4 on Sunday, May 19th, making art. Please join us!
iMatter train crosses tracksiMatter hands all block trainiMatter trainsformer sustainableiMatter pirate trainiMatter happy trainsformer
A coal train driven by skull masked people transforms into beautiful murals when we implore the Fremont Solstice Parade audience to help us stop it (photos above) There will be stilters with windmill headdresses, solar panel costumes, animal- masked- dressed-up kids of all ages, beautiful fluttering butterflies, flags and banners, herring and salmon puppets, a band, and more! You and your families are welcome to join us to create more art and be in the Solstice parade!
Save the dates:
  Sunday, May 19th, 10:00-4:00 Art Workshop at the Powerhouse: 3940 Fremont Ave N.
  Saturday, June 15th, 10:00-4:00 Art Workshop and Rehearsal at Sierra Club: 180 Nickerson St #202 or in the parking lot
  Saturday, June 22nd Parade 3:00 in Fremont (be there by 2:00)

This ensemble is supported in part by a grant from the Fremont Arts Council to create costumes and props. Additional images are being supplied by the Backbone Campaign and local artists.

Check out other great opportunities in the parade here:


Drop in to the art workshop any time, and stay as long as you’re having fun! Your artful contribution will be instrumental! Even if you can’t make it to the parade, please come make art with us!

All ages of youth and adults are welcome! (Parents help your younger kids.) Make paper mache puppet masks (above), paint train wheels, make small flags with sun block prints, and a small banner and more flags with fabric crayons. Draw and paint the last train car panels and frames (continuing the mural above). We can also work on sustainable energy costume options. We’ll expand outside in clear weather.
If you have any of the following supplies you can bring, please let us know:
yarn, raffia, trim, feathers, and ribbon (for the masks)
small bamboo or other stakes about 2′ lengths (for flags)
animal costumes from recycled or extra fabrics
brightly colored leftover latex paint
what else do you have that might make great costumes or props?
We’ll have a snack table so bring something to share!
Hope to see you on Sunday, May 19th!

Plant For The Planet Academy: Sign Up Today

Plant For The Planet Academy

October 26th, 9am – 5pm

2 locations – Jane Addams School & Cleveland HS, Seattle WA

Free or all students ages 8 – 14 No cost to attend. 

Sign up today!

Imagine planting a million trees, what you would feel like, how you would change the world… Now get started! 80 lucky students ages 8 – 14 from area schools will train to serve our community as Climate Justice Ambassadors! Worldwide, over 19,000 young students have been through this fun and educational Academy training, and joined forces as leaders of the Official Tree-Planting Campaign of the United Nations.

All participants receive:

  • free Plant For The Planet T-shirt
  • free copy of the book “Tree By Tree” by Felix and Friends
  • snacks (Bring your own sack lunch and water bottle)
  • training in how to present the slideshow to an audience
  • support getting started with friends after the workshop

Play experiential games to understand how our world needs to change, learn to plant a tree with Seattle Parks naturalists, get a photo with local leaders, rehearse the slideshow and end the day giving the slideshow to invited guests.

Students, age 8 – 14, who care about our future and who want to plant a truly tree-mendous transformation of our planet, please attend this one-day workshop on May 24th to send a powerful signal against the climate crisis.

At 4pm that day, families and invited guests will come see the slideshow presentation given by the students at the conclusion of the training. Plan to attend with the whole family to experience this powerful work and celebrate the world’s newest Climate Justice Ambassadors! Then join us in Seattle Parks the following Saturday November 2nd, Green Seattle Day! Bring the whole family out to launch Seattle’s Tree-planting Season.

Thanks to support from the Seattle Parks Dept, and Coolmom for all the help making this a fantastic free event, open to all students!

To learn more, go to the “Seattle Plant for the Planet Academy” page. Questions? Contact Michael Foster.

Real-Life ‘Man Who Planted Trees’ in India

mulai woodsIf one boy can plant an entire forest on a barren sandbar in a river, then imagine how much we can accomplish working together with that same dedication. Enjoy this story of a man who planted trees!

Way back in 1979, floods had washed a great number of snakes onto the sandbar. When Payeng — then only 16 — found them, they had all died.

“The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage,” Payeng told the Times Of India.

“I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me,” he told the newspaper.

Now that once-barren sandbar is a sprawling 1,360 acre forest, home to several thousands of varieties of trees and an astounding diversity of wildlife — including birds, deer, apes, rhino, elephants and even tigers.

The forest, aptly called the “Molai woods” after its creator’s nickname, was single-handedly planted and cultivated by one man — Payeng, who is now 47.

According to the Asian Age, Payeng has dedicated his life to the upkeep and growth of the forest. Accepting a life of isolation, he started living alone on the sandbar as a teenager — spending his days tending the burgeoning plants.

Molai_Payeng IndiaToday, Payeng still lives in the forest. He shares a small hut with his wife and three children and makes a living selling cow and buffalo milk.

According to the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia, it is perhaps the world’s biggest forest in the middle of a river.

“We were surprised to find such a dense forest on the sandbar,” Saikia told the Times Of India, adding that officials in the region only learned of Payeng’s forest in 2008.

Finally, Payeng may get the help — and recognition — he deserves.

“[Locals] wanted to cut down the forest, but Payeng dared them to kill him instead. He treats the trees and animals like his own children. Seeing this, we, too, decided to pitch in,” Saikia said.

originally posted in Treehugger

Cut Carbon with Rideshareonline

Rideshareonline matches riders with drivers to fill up carpools all over the area! It’s simple, so easy to use, and free. Sign up for an account and see what I mean.

Starting in April 2013, Lincoln APP Elementary gets to test out a program called SchoolPool that allows our elementary parents to access a secure account just for our school. Soon we will be able to go online to find neighbors in other grade levels and classrooms who want to share rides to school every day or just for one special event. We can cut down on car trips across town, and get more exercise too because the site lets you choose whether you are driving or biking or walking! That’s great for organizing bikepools and walking school-buses to make more human-powered trips around town safer and easier for our kids when they travel in groups.

Every school can sign up for the program, which is free!