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Lessons, games, and free resources supporting the mission of Neighborhood Forest! 

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Free Trees

Giving Trees to Children

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Since 2010, Neighborhood Forest has reached over 800 schools, libraries, and youth groups – over 250,000 families – and (will have) planted over 100,000 (mostly urban and residential) trees through the hands of children and parents across North America.

How does it work?

Schools, libraries, and youth groups enroll in our program. Parents sign-up to get a free tree for their child ahead of Earth Day. Trees for kids are distributed, via the school, library, or youth group to plant with their family during Earth Week (April 22-30).

Visit Neighborhood Forest to learn more about Free Trees through schools, libraries, youth groups, and organizations

Free Lessons

Free Lessons: Planting Your First Tree

The Science of Trees
One Unit 🌲 Six Interactive Online Lessons 🌲 Easy, Medium, & Hard Options

Notice of ESSER Compliance:
The Science of Trees by Neighborhood Forest (1) responds to academic needs in Science, Math, and STEM learning through guided, hands-on Science labs and (2) providing supplemental academic enrichment materials for use with in-school acceleration, out-of-school programs and/or summer learning.

PDF Version with hyperlinks $24.99
Interactive PPTs (Genially), Guiding Questions 
Proceeds provide trees to schools.
Includes customer support!

Full-year access $299.
Digital and Interactive. 
Includes up to 20 trees to plant!
Includes customer support, webinars, updates, and more!

Discounts for multiple licenses
Great for PLCs and Grade-Level Curriculum

Online & Interactive

Welcome to the online Science of Trees curriculum! 

The Science of Trees was written in partnership with NuMinds Enrichment, an award-winning STEAM Enrichment company. Each lesson includes three levels (easy, medium, and hard), each with a guiding question, interactive Slideshow, activity, vocabulary, and extension resources.  

All purchases include customer support. The Classroom Edition includes a secure online portal featuring webinars with the creators, updates, and up to 20 free trees delivered to your organization for Earth Day! 

Lessons include:
🌲Tree Rings (levels include dendrochronology, archeology, ecological succession)​

🌲Environment (levels include evaporation, transpiration, mycorrhizal fungi)​

🌲Soil (levels include germination, seeds, runoff, erosion)​

🌲Parts of a Plant (levels include adaptations, turgor pressure, tropisms)​

🌲Photosynthesis (levels include chlorophyll, glucose, transpiration)​

🌲Seeds (levels include ecosystems, biodiversity, pollinators)​


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Curriculum Preview - Genially Interface


Every Classroom Edition purchased provides up to 20 trees delivered to your organization for Earth Day (no waitlist)! 

PDF Version with hyperlinks $24.99
Interactive PPTs (Genially), Guiding Questions 
Proceeds provide trees to schools.
Includes customer support!

Full-year access $299.
Digital and Interactive. 
Includes up to 20 trees to plant!
Includes customer support, webinars, updates, and more!

Discounts for multiple licenses
Great for PLCs and Grade-Level Curriculum

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Whether planting your first tree or teaching others, these online, self-guided lessons provide simple, interactive challenges using the Genially platform.


Topics include:

  • Getting your tree home safely

  • Finding the best home for your tree

  • Choosing the best spot to plant

  • Planting 

  • Protecting and serving your tree


Completely free. Courtesy of Neighborhood Forest and the team at NuMinds Enrichment.  

The Science of Trees
Board Game

Neighborhood Forest: The Board Game

The Story of Neighborhood Forest: The Board Game

A Humble Beginning

On the morning of June 4th, 2021, Ben Koch, the co-founder of NuMinds Enrichment and host of the New Minds podcast, interviewed Vikas Narula. The premise: learn about a successful IT entrepreneur who has dedicated over 10 years of his life to providing free trees to children. 

The questions were deep and the conversation rich--an exploration of Vikas's organization, Neighborhood Forest, which started in 2010 at a local neighborhood school and which has now grown to reach over 250,000 families! 

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A thread kept emerging throughout the conversation, and it continued long after the microphones were turned off: How can we teach children to truly love these trees? Yes, they enjoy the experience of planting, but how can any child who plants a tree begin to catch a glimpse of the long-term impact they are having on our world? 

The Curriculum

The team at NuMinds took this question and proposed a STEAM-based curriculum unit. This unit would include a free lesson to help all students learn how to care for a tree, and it would also include a paid lesson with multiple levels and challenges. Not only would children learn more deeply about our wooded friends, but the proceeds would go to pay for more trees, continuing the cycle for years.


A Passion Project Starts

During an early vision meeting, Vikas famously told the NuMinds' team, "Whatever we create, it should be 33% science, 33% metaphor, 33% Magic, and 1%...I don't know!"


NuMinds took that "I don't know" and began a passion project. We began working with nationally-recognized Science Teacher, Helen Arceneaux, and Master Gardeners in the North Texas area. The team visited the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to talk with experts in the field. After multiple hikes through the woods, reading the pastoral works of Thoreau, and gleaning time-honored insights from Peter Wohlleben's master work, The Hidden Life of Trees, the team uncovered their driving question: "How can we teach children something so complex as the enduring nature of a forest, with all of it's intricacies and unknowns, while still allowing their little hands to make and create?" 

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The Board Game Begins

With the driving question unearthed, the answer simply waited for the opportune moment to sprout. One evening, Justin Vawter, co-founder and CEO of NuMinds, was playing the game of Life with his family. He watched as his two young daughters went to college, got married, bought a house...bailed their uncle out of jail, collected insurance after a car wreck, played the stock market, and eventually retired...all in less than 30 minutes. 


That's when it became clear: a game. "A game allows us the safety to grapple with complex issues. To experience the harshness of reality, and then just as easily, put it away until next time." This had to be a game where the pieces and movements are simple; where children plant trees and the forest grows right in front of their eyes. A game where trees are watered and cared for, but even with our best efforts, can still perish--a life lesson reinforcing that we must keep planting and doing our part to tend to nature. 

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The Board Game Emerges

While the game had to be simple to play, it also needed layers of complexity designed to engage even the most avid tabletop players.


The project went from concept to prototype when Master Game Designer, Adam Nees, entered the project. Growing up in rural Indiana, and having planted a family tree in his youth, Adam immediately embraced the spirit of the project.

Adam designed the game for ages 8 and up (with a version for younger players). The game is cooperative instead of competitive--encouraging players to care for all the trees. The reward comes from the growth of the neighborhood forest and accolades earned through individual efforts.

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As Adam brought the game mechanics to life, Kaylee Nees (Digital Artist) and Allison Baker (3D Environmental Artist) created the soft look and kid-centric visuals. Seven species of trees, matching the species distributed by Neighborhood Forest; inclusive Team Tokens; 55 unique event, resource, and landmark cards, each card filled with science, colorful art, and an attribute relevant to the game. 

The Final Step

After hundreds of hours of playtesting, feedback, and improvements, the team at NuMinds and Neighborhood Forest are ready to print and share our game with the world! 

Soon, we will begin selling pre-orders so we can print and ship limited copies of the game. We are working with a professional manufacturer to not only create a high-quality, durable product, but one that is biodegradable and has minimal impact on our environment.

Follow us on Facebook to receive updates and be the first to pre-order!


Thank you for your time and consideration, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us

Let’s get planting!

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