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About Trees for Wildlife

Trees for Wildlife (formerly Trees for 21st Century) is an educational program of the National Wildlife Federation, providing adult leaders with fun, hands-on science-based activities to help young people learn about the importance of trees and how to plant and take care of trees for the future.

This initiative aims to educate and prepare a generation of environmental stewards, expand the world inventory of trees, and protect and improve natural resources. 

The National Wildlife Federation's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. For over 80 years, the National Wildlife Federation has been a leader in conservation and environmental education, shaping the future of stewardship for the Earth in the United States. Through our educational programs, publications, and multimedia outreach, the National Wildlife Federation is dedicated to three objectives: connecting people with nature, safeguarding wildlife and wild places, and providing solutions to climate change.

ERTHNXT merged with the National Wildlife Federation in 2010 to extend our programmatic connections for adults and youth by offering an opportunity to learn about the importance of trees to our planets health, the ability to tangible experience to make a difference by planting trees and dedication to pass on an appreciation for nature to future generations.

How It Works

Trees for Wildlife™ educates youth about the role of trees in our environment, how individuals can take action to plant trees and provides stewardship for sustaining trees locally and across the nation. Trees for Wildlife™ also explores the unique connection wildlife have with trees and the essential role for habitat trees play for wildlife.

Additionally, Trees for Wildlife™ is a great opportunity to have youth learn about how to improve their environmental footprint and serves as a supplement to the National Wildlife Federation’s Eco-School USA program, which provides schools an opportunity to “green their school, green their grounds and green the students.”

National Wildlife Federation’s Trees for Wildlife™ program provides all the elements you need to successful implement the program through self-guided materials.

  • Age-appropriate and downloadable activities
  • Native tree seedlings shipped directly to your home for planting
  • Incentives (patches, pins, and more)
  • Educational resources to support further projects

Trees for Wildlife™ was inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Thirty years ago, Maathai, from Kenya, Africa, was concerned that 90 percent of her forest had been chopped down. Soil erosion was devastating her country as a result. The women, whose job it was to look for firewood for their families, had to search for hours to find mere branches. Wangari took action. On June 5th, 1977, on World Environment Day, she planted nine trees in her backyard and founded the Green Belt Movement whose mission it is to restore Africa’s forests, put an end to the poverty that deforestation was causing, and recognize the intimate and fundamental link between the environment, democracy, and peace. Wangari gathered women from all over the country and empowered them to plant 30 million trees.


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Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. The National Wildlife Federation is on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 53 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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