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Girl Scout Tree Promise

Girl Scout Tree Promise

Girl Scouts everywhere are being called to help by planting, protecting, and honoring trees in their backyards, communities, states, across the country, and even across the world.

Mission:

Girl Scouts is joining forces with the Elliot Wildlife Values Project and  American Forests to launch a bold tree-planting initiative. We're setting out to plant, protect, or honor 5 million trees by 2025.

Earth Day 2022 Challenge:

Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania is planting 2022 trees for Earth Day of 2022, and your troop is invited to help!

Learn more about earning the Girl Scout Tree Promise Patch

Why Trees? The Facts
  • Planting trees is one of the best ways we can improve the environment- we are able to better conserve water, reduce air pollution, create jobs, improve wildlife habitat, and contribute to climate change solutions.
  • 5 Million Trees will provide habitat for wildlife and capture and store over 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next 50 years.
  • Here’s the good news: planting 5 million trees means capturing, storing, and filtering 1.5 billion gallons of water a year, enough to fill 2,340 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Learn more facts about trees and their impact on the environment here, from our partner Keystone 10 Million Tree Partnership
Explore Trees in Your Outdoor Space
  • Observe Nature: Relax in a hammock, sit or lay under a tree and watch the leaves and branches move in the wind
  • Become a Citizen Scientist: Use the Girl Scout Tree Promise on SciStarter to participate in a citizen scientist project. The Girl Scout will help a real scientist with research!
  • Get Moving: Play fun games like tree tag, tree bingo, play in a treehouse, or try canopy ziplining.
  • Make & Create: Read, write, draw, and/or do art projects next to a tree without the distraction of electronics.
Types of Trees to Plant
Balled and Burlapped Trees
Outdoor Program Progression Chart
Containerized Trees
Troop Adventure Camp
Bare-Root Seedlings Do's and Don'ts
Troop Adventure Day
Spend a Day Completing Badge Requirements
How to Plant

Burlapped Trees:

  • Handle trees by the root ball
  • Gently life and lower or roll the root ball into the hole. Position the tree in the center of the planting hole. The root collar- the trunk flare right above the root system- should be exposed and slightly above ground level. If the hole is too deep, add soil and tamp down to create a firm foundation beneath the root ball.
  • Cut away as much of the wire basket as possible without breaking the root ball. Cut and remove all twine and rope. Remove the staples holding the burlap together and peel the burlap back. Cut away any loose burlap. It is okay to leave any remaining burlap and wire under the root ball.
  • Fill the hole with soil. Lightly tamp the soil in around the roots to eliminate air pockets.
  • Remove tree tags, ribbons, or trunk wrapping
  • Add about four inches of mulch, keeping mulch four inches away from the trunk
  • Water deeply

Containerized Trees:

  • Firmly tap around the outside of the container to separate the soil from the sides of the container
  • Always handle trees by the container or root mass
  • Carefully remove the tree from the container of the planting hole. The root collar- the trunk flare right about the root system- should be exposed and slightly above ground level.
    • If the hole is too deep, add soil and tamp down to create a firm foundation beneath the root ball.
  • Fill the hole with soil. Lightly tamp the soil in around the roots to eliminate air pockets
  • Remove tree tags, ribbons, or trunk wrapping
  • Add about four inches of mulch, keeping mulch four inches away from the trunk
  • Water deeply
  • Make four or five vertical cuts along the side of the root mass
  • Gently lift and lower or roll the root ball into the hole. Position the tree in the center

Bare-Root Seedlings

  • Prepare a planting area where the seedling will have adequate space to grow into a full-sized tree both above and below the ground. Avoid overhead and underground utilities.
  • Dig a hole about 2-3x wider than the seedling height and deep enough to accommodate the roots.
  • Remove any grass within a 3-foot circular area around the seedling.
  • Place the root collar (the place where the roots join the stem) at soil level. Make sure the roots stay straight and do not form a “J”.
  • Shovel in soil around the roots and tamp down lightly to remove air pockets. Use water to settle soil in planting area. Construct a water-holding basin around the tree.
  • Spread a two- to three-inch layer of mulch over the planting hole, but not within six inches of tree trunk. Stake only if necessary due to high wind risk.
  • Protect seedling from damage caused by feet, lawnmowers, pets, etc.
Dig Deeper

Did you know that you can complete the Girl Scout Tree Promise patch as a stand-alone piece, or you can connect it to other badges, patches, Journeys, and Awards!

  • Connect the Girl Scout Tree Promise with Badges and Journeys
  • Connect with Take Action Projects and Highest Awards
    • Highest Awards gives girls the chance to create a sustainable project that solves a problem and makes a difference in the world.
    • Here are some examples where Highest Awards meet GS Tree Promise:
      • Take Action Project: A troop of Girl Scout Daisies from New Mexico Trails visited a nursery to learn more about plants and how important they are to the environment. Then, the girls used cookie earnings to purchase a tree and four bushes, which they planted in front of their school.
      • Bronze Award Project: During their Outdoor Journey, Juniors from GSHPA realized that the trees in a neighborhood park were damaged by flooding and the ash-borer plague. They worked with an arborist to plant 46 new trees as well as to make physical and digital posters to educate the community. They also used the Girl Scout Tree Promise Tree Tracker to schedule care for the trees.
      • Silver Award Project: Five Cadettes from Greater Los Angeles educated young children about global warming, recycling, habitats, carbon footprints, and acid rain. They partnered with two schools to hold three tree plantings of drought-resistant plants and trees on Earth day and asked for continued care from the schools’ maintenance crew. They left lesson plans for teachers to continue to use and held two park cleanups.
      • Gold Award Project: A senior in Central Texas focused her Gold Award on the urban heat island effect. First, she evaluated five residential neighborhoods for properties with room to plant trees. Then, she connected with the homeowners to make arrangements for trees to be ordered, delivered, and planted. Initially 500 trees were planted through the project, so the Girl Scout partnered with a local nonprofit to continue maintenance of the plantings for the next three years. She also publicized the project and asked for others to join through various local news outlets.
  • Other Awards and Opportunities
Resources
Partners

Why Collaborate?

Building partnerships is a great way to…

  • Find places to plant trees
  • Find volunteers to help plant and plan
  • Find opportunities to recruit new members to Girl Scouts
  • Find sponsorships for your trees
  • Find ideas for honoring youth and other leaders with tree plantings
  • Other support including supplies, equipment, in-kind materials, and funding

With Whom Do I Collaborate? 

  • That’s easy- Tree Partners, Funding Partners, and Faith Partners like…
    • This list of partners who have specifically indicated their interest in supporting GSHPA Girl Scouts or you may create your own partnerships from such organizations as the following:
    • Tree-planting agencies, business, and organizations: They can provide you with information and advice, supplies and resources for events, and connections with other groups interested in tree planting.
    • Businesses: Businesses like gardening centers, home improvement stores, and banks may be able to provide funding, volunteers, and/or supplies and resources.
    • Faith-Based Organizations: Most faith traditions have values and traditions related to environmental stewardship and care for neighbors that relate well to the GS Tree Promise. They can engage their congregations and community members in service opportunities. See Faith Partners Toolkit.
    • Local Government: Call your city council and mayor’s office or federal and state forestry assistance programs to find out more about tree planting and resources.
    • Schools and Community Organizations: Connect with your school or local higher education campus to find out how you can collaborate on the Girl Scout Tree Promise.
News & Updates

 

Testimonials

Isle, Brownie TP

“Look what we found!" - Ilse, Brownie Girl Scout, happily pulling a ring-neck snake out of her coat pocket.

Lauren, Gold Award TP

“One thing that that makes this camp so beautiful is the nature that surrounds it, which is why I wanted to plant trees for my Gold Award, to replace trees that were cut down in 2018 due to poor tree health, and safety concerns for campers.” - Lauren, Gold Award Girl Scout

Michelle, Leader TP

"One of my Brownies said to me, 'I’ve always wondered what is under here!' (referring to dirt, while digging a hole for a tree)." - Michelle, Girl Scout Troop Leader

  

 

Have questions about our Tree Promise initiative? Reach out to our Member Services team at 800-692-7816 or MemberServices@gshpa.org.