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

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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

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Free Lessons: Planting Your First Tree

The Science of Trees: Class Unit
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.

Introductory price of $99.
Digital and Interactive. 
Instant Download.

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Digital Curriculum (instant download) and pre-order the new
Neighborhood Forest Board Game. $149. 

Online & Interactive

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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The Science of Trees curriculum is presented using Genially, an online tool that allows every student to interact with the content from their browser.

Curriculum Preview - Genially Interface

The Lesson Overview (PDF) provides step-by-step instructions for using The Science of Trees with the whole class (teacher-guided) or for self-guided, individualized learning.

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Lesson & Activity Overview - Preview

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Every unit purchased provides four children with trees! 
🌲🌲🌲🌲

 

Introductory price of $99.
Digital and Interactive. 
Instant Download.

Digital Curriculum (instant download) and pre-order the new
Neighborhood Forest Board Game. $149. 

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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.  

 
 

Neighborhood Forest: The Board Game

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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. 

Board overview
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Grow trees on the board!
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White Pine Card
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Plant trees in their ideal biomes
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Eldarica Pine - Event Card
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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! 

 

This is where we need your help!

We are selling pre-orders so we can print and ship 100 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.

 

For $149, you are both pre-purchasing a copy of the game and helping us fund this project. 

As our way of saying thank you, when you purchase, NuMinds will provide you with a link to the paid curriculum package. This is a digital package with six lessons, multiple activities, and a teacher guide (a $120 value). In addition, Neighborhood Forest will donate trees to 8 children. 

 

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

Let’s get planting!

Digital Curriculum (instant download) and preorder for our new Neighborhood Forest Board Game. 

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Every pre-order includes an instant download of
The Science of Trees curriculum (a $120 value).

Plus, feel good, knowing your purchase provides 8 children with trees!  
🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲🌲

 
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