Our focus this year is on Growing Together
Forests are the most productive and biodiverse habitats in the world. They cover about a third of the global land mass and are essential for the ecological balance of our planet. So far, 1.3 million animal and plant species are known to be found in forests.
They also provide water, food and livelihoods for billions of people around the world.
Forests also play an important role in the fight against climate change. After the oceans, they are the most important factor influencing the global climate binding 20 to 50 times more carbon in their vegetation than other ecosystems.
Despite these priceless ecological, economic and social advantages, deforestation is progressing at an alarming rate worldwide.
As a part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for Roots & Shoots we want YOU to explore and experience our forests and take action for them.
As forests are found nearly everywhere in the world, this theme unites us and this is a great opportunity for Roots & Shoots members all over the world to get connected!
We want you to get out into your local forests and woods and take action! We’ve got some great activities below which you can do independently or as groups and classes (so long as you’re following the recommended COVID guidance at the time!) but there’s lots of other things you can do.
We’d also LOVE for you to share your projects, activities and adventures online through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – so don’t forget to mention or tag us, and include #growingtogether #rootsandshoots30 #INTLForestDay #hopeactchange
Project ideas to get you started
There are so many ways you can get involved because there are so many ways you can celebrate your forests and woods! You can write about them, create art, record a video, produce a song – or how about organising a litter pick, getting your local media involved, or discovering the stories of the forest and the people and animals that live there?
Share the story of your forest
Go out into your forests, observe it, bring ideas about what you would like to do and take
action. What could you do to help? How could you make it better? What are the stories you’d like to share? Then create and send a picture or a video of your forest project.
Growing Together video
Roots & Shoots will be putting together a video with contributions from groups all around the world, and your project and your forest could be part of it! Create a short video showing your forest, what you love about it, what lives in it and what you’re doing to protect it, then share it with us!
Forest ‘Speed Cleaning’
Collect all the waste you can find in a specific part of the forest or woodland as quickly as you can. You can make this a competition, splitting into teams or going out as families, and seeing how much rubbish each team can collect in 15 minutes, then comparing.
Then, you can have a look at the rubbish you’ve collected and have a discussion about what’s there, where it might have come from, and what would have happened to it if it had been left? And finally, dispose of it responsibly!
PR for your local forest
We want more people to love our forests and woods, and you can help by sharing YOUR love! So this project is all about conducting a mini PR (which means ‘public relations’) campaign. You can do this by organising a little exhibition with posters, sharing them with your class and local community, or even contacting your local newspaper and radio program to share your project with them. Since it’s also International Day of Forests on the 21st of March, this is a good project to get started on now!
No forests near you? No worries! How about making your project about planting a tree or growing a wildlife garden – and your garden doesn’t even need to be very big because a window box can also be great for helping wildlife. Write, film or draw about what you’ve decided to plant and why, and chart how it grows.
Planting Trees With One Click
Ecosia is a search engine, which plants trees all over the world with their advertising revenue. You can install Ecosia and help them plant even more trees just by searching the internet like you usually would:
Create your own DIY recycled paper art
Did you know you can make your own recycled paper? Here’s how: shred a piece of used paper by tearing it up into little bits; the smaller the better. Then soak it water until it goes soft and begins to fall apart, and blend it well using your hands. Then, using cookie cutters or other moulds, fill them up with the water and paper mixture, then squeeze them hard to get as much of the water out as you can, and push all the bits of paper together so they stick. Once it’s dried, you’ll have paper shapes and models you can paint and decorate, and you can try all sorts of other ways of using it too!
Who Lives In The Forest?
Let your students research on different indigenous tribes and peoples who live in forests or are highly dependent on it. In which countries do they live, what language(s) do they speak, what does their life look like? Create an exhibition with pictures, drawings and informative posters based on the students’ research and present it to your school.
Create a Wood Dwarf family
This is a great activity for smaller children, and can be done in groups or independently. In your forest or woodland, look out for fallen branches with a diameter of from about 1cm up to 3cm, then break them up into pieces about 5cm long. Try to find ones that already have little branches that look like arms or legs. These are your Wood Dwarfs! Make them into a family or school or group of friends, give them clothing made out of leaves or moss, add a face, and find them a home – do they live amongst the roots of a tree, under plants, in amongst the twigs on the ground, or somewhere else?
We can’t wait to hear about your projects!
So don’t forget to share them with us, and we’ll share them too – lets grow together with our forests this year.