Tree Smart Program
Approximately 5 children per year are fatally electrocuted in the state of California because they were unaware of the hazards of trees near power lines. Because of this the State Utility Commission mandates that all public utility companies implement an education program to inform the public, and especially elementary school students of these hazards. Urban Corps, in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric and the San Diego Unified School District, has developed a 60 minute presentation and interactive activity to teach students the importance and benefits of trees as well as the dangers of trees planted in the wrong place. This curriculum compliments the California Educational Standards in Science for K –6th grade students.
Presentations are divided into three sections:
• Benefits of Trees: In this portion of the presentation students learn how trees benefit our lives by providing shade which reduces energy costs, preventing erosion, providing oxygen for us to breathe, and by providing a home for wildlife. Students are also taught about how to conserve the environment and how the eco-system works.
• Power Line Tree Safety: The second portion of the presentation is devoted to power line safety. Students learn the appropriate planting distances for different size trees near power lines. We also discuss how electricity works, and who invented the means to harness and utilize electricity.
“The concepts were very educational, important information was given.”
“They (students) were all engaged in your discussion, Very organized, great overhead (presentation).”
Monteray Heights Elementary
“The material presented was appropriate and held kids’ attention. Presenters were very well prepared and interacted very well with kids.”
“I liked how the theme /lesson was put together (with the) visuals, questions, legos, handouts.”
“I hope you will come back next year for my new fifth graders!”
• Lego Activity: After completion of the power point presentation the class is split into 4 groups and given a small Lego city including a school, homes, trees, power lines, and an energy source. Students are then asked to build their city in accordance with the guidelines and planting distances outlined in the presentation. This interactive activity reinforces what was discussed and shows the students how many conflicts can arise when planning a city.
To sign your school up for our Tree Smart Presentation please call (619) 235-6884.
Access the Tree Smart sign-up sheet here.