We plant free trees on public, public charter, and private school campuses in Washington, D.C. Planting trees on a school campus improves the aesthetic appearance of the grounds, making the campus more inviting to students, parents, faculty, and the surrounding community. Trees provide shade to cool down hot recreation spaces, enhance outdoor classroom spaces, and can contribute to school lesson content and science curriculum. Planting trees at your school also contributes to the Sustainable DC’s plan to reach a 40% tree canopy by 2032.
Casey Trees seeks school sites with plantable space for ten or more trees. Please note that special priority will be given to schools in Wards 5, 7, and 8 (areas with lower tree canopy coverage).
What to Know Before Applying
- Our target goal is to plant 10+ trees with your students. *School sites with space for fewer than 10 trees will be considered for a crew-only planting without student participation.
- Successful applicants work with a certified Urban Forester to help co-select appropriate tree species and planting locations and develop a three-year post-planting maintenance schedule. *This includes committing to watering them for a minimum of three years following installation.
- We provide support leading up to and on the day of the planting as well as all required tools and trees. Student groups – we are looking to plant with K-2, 3-5, 6-8, or 9-12. Student participation depends on # of trees to be planted. (5-8 students per tree)
School Tree Planting applications are accepted year-round. Our planting seasons are Spring (March-May) and Fall (October-December). Project Organizers (teachers, school staff, parents-You!) should apply a season in advance. Casey Trees creates plans and finalizes tree plantings two months in advance of the start of the season.
Plant With Your Students
At eligible schools, students are the primary planters. You will work with a certified Urban Forester, who will provide the following series of high-quality outdoor educational experiences for your students.
- Leading up to the event, students participate in a Casey Trees-led Tree Rally. Students learn the species of trees they will be planting, how to properly handle and plant the trees and the value of trees.
- Planting day, students serve as the primary planters giving them a sense of ownership and responsibility for the project.
- Following the planting, students revisit their new trees for a Tree Care Day, learning about the threats to the urban forest and what they can do to help.
Program note: Schools with limited planting space are eligible for a tree rally with our Youth Program staff. Please indicate on your application if you are interested in an educational session with your students.
Dedicate a Tree
Tree dedications can be a beautiful tribute in honor or memory of a community member. If you would like to plant a tree with a dedication ceremony, please contact our Development Coordinator.
Before submitting an application, be sure you can
- Obtain approval from the school principal or facilities department.
- Meet with Casey Trees’ Youth Program staff to review project requirements and logistics.
- Commit to a three-year post-planting maintenance plan.
- Access a water source to maintain trees during the school year.