Below are links to descriptions of funded stewardship projects in the field of Carbon Sequestration. Some are only short descriptions, others are more robust articles that have been published in The Earth Scientist. We hope they inspire you to take positive environmental actions within your community, and consider applying to NOAA Planet Stewards for funding.
(Julie - Grade level leader, Ohio)
Student collecting data prior to tree planting.
Defiance City has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation for planting trees and is aware of the impact trees have on our community as a whole. It brings about civic pride and generations to come will have better quality of life because of the work that is done today to plant trees. The town of Defiance has a strong interest in stabilizing the atmospheric abundance of CO2 to mitigate the risks of global warming.
This project addressed rising temperatures and an increase of carbon dioxide in the environment due to climate change. This project engaged over 600 elementary students from four local counties and partnered with many local organizations and the town's Soil and Water Department to help with this project. The goal was to plant trees to sequester carbon dioxide. Participants planted 120 trees, which will sequester over 1,322 pounds of carbon dioxide in their first year. Once the trees are fully grown, they will sequester over 5,555 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. Over the span of 40 years, over 100 tons of carbon sequestered from this project.
(Patrick - Upper School Social Studies Teacher, Oregon)
Members of the Catlin Gabel School Environment Action Team student group turn over the soil before planting. Loose soil is vital for quick growth in Tiny Forests.
Despite Portland’s Climate Action Plan of 1993, the region continues to encounter new challenges to fighting climate change, including the need for cooling centers in low-income neighborhoods. Simultaneously, Oregon is experiencing drought and climate-change enhanced wildfires that burned more acres than ever before.
This “Tiny Forest Project” is a densely planted ecosystem where preK-12th-grade students can study soil biology, track tons of sequestered carbon, and survey native plant and animal species. The closed canopy woodlands in the Willamette Valley's hills have become less diverse, as second- and third-generation growth overlook shrub and herbaceous layers dominated by invasive species. These urban forests are surrounded by land being quickly developed as the region urbanizes. To address climate change and biodiversity loss, the students created a carbon sink, consisting of native plants, on the school’s campus.
During this project, over 225 students, teachers, staff members, and volunteers at the school planted over 600 plants comprising over 46 native species within a 100 x 20 foot area to create a tiny forest. The goal was to sequester carbon dioxide, improve air quality, and reduce ambient temperatures - among other academic and social goals for the school. The tiny forest is estimated to sequester over 281 pounds of CO2 per year.
(John - High school teacher, Mishawaka, IN)
Students prepare to plant 125 three-to-four year old pear and apple trees at their school and in the local community
As the climate changes, the need for food producing plants in a greater variety of locations will become essential. Indiana’s temperature increased by 1℉ over the last two decades and heavy precipitation events are occurring. The use of trees to produce food provides a diverse source in the face of monocultures that could be more susceptible to flooding. Additionally, John wanted, over time, reduce the amount of carbon released in the atmosphere by giving the community options for locally grown fruit and his community and his students to see themselves as stewards of nature.
John enlisted the help of his 10th and 12th grade biology students to prepare and plant 125 three-to-four year old pear and apple trees at his school and in the local community. An additional 75 students helped graft trees for future planting. In total, the student spent almost 300 hours engaged in stewardship activities. In the first year, the trees will sequester 62 lbs. of CO2. Over a 15 year estimate life of the trees, they will sequester an estimate 65 tons of carbon
John became a NOAA Planet Steward in 2018 and is a high school biology teacher who sponsors his school’s Korean Club and TEAMS Engineering group.
(Kathryn - Nurture Nature Center, PA)
Educational poster that the Palisades High School students researched and designed to educate about the importance of trees in helping sequester carbon, among other benefits.
This project sought to educate local high school students about climate change and trees’ role in carbon sequestration and engage them in planting trees in neighboring parks and tracking the trees’ growth to understand how carbon can be sequestered. The project demonstrated to students that they can make a difference in their local communities and that their actions can be part of larger solutions, even in the face of global issues like climate change.
A total of 30 students planted about 100 trees at two locations in Bucks County (Nockamixon Park and Peppermint Park). Over the next 50 years, the trees are estimated to sequester 50,804.3 kg of carbon, reduce 616.5 cubic meters of stormwater runoff, reduce 181,005.6 kWh of electricity use, and remove 260.6 kg/avoid 1,637.3 kg of air pollution. The students also visited the City of Easton’s micro forest and met the City Forester, saw the Nurture Nature Center’s Science on a Sphere exhibit for a program on climate change, and learned about science communication. They did research about the benefits of planting trees to create their own flyers to educate about and promote their efforts to other students.