Monday, June 5, 2017

SFI Announcement on Project Learning Tree Program

It is with great pleasure that I am sharing news about a big development in the SFI program. Pending final arrangement of legal and administrative details, the Project Learning Tree program will be transferred from the American Forest Foundation (AFF) to SFI Inc. this summer.

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is a highly regarded program to advance environmental education through the lens of sustainable forestry geared to educators who teach PreKindergarten through to Grade 12 students. SFI Inc. has long been a supporter of the PLT program and for many years has enthusiastically provided support to PLT directly and through our SFI Implementation Committees (SICs).

As you know, SFI is a sustainability organization that is dedicated to the future of our forests, which includes educating the next generation to care about environmental issues and the responsible management of resources. SFI’s community engagement is carried out in many ways, including through our SICs, through our Community Partnerships grant program, and through direct support of community and education groups such as PLT, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts of America, and others. A key component of SFI’s community engagement is educating youth, to ensure they can be effective future leaders and have a strong understanding of the value of responsibly managed forests. Bringing the PLT program into the SFI program offers an exciting opportunity to strengthen SFI’s youth education mission and to deliver future success of the PLT program.

The AFF Board voted unanimously on May 30 to approve the transfer of the PLT program from AFF to SFI. The program transfer will be accompanied by funding from AFF to ensure financial support for five years, to offset the annual program deficit. SFI will also initiate a fundraising program to ensure the success of the program beyond those five years.

The SFI Board has approved this transfer, pending final arrangement of legal and administrative details, which are expected to be finalized in July.

SFI plans to maintain the incredibly strong PLT state network and staff. The SICs and many of our partners (state agencies, universities, and others) have been a key part of the PLT state network, and we look forward to working with all of you to identify opportunities to build on those existing connections and partnerships and to pursue new opportunities. The SICs will be an asset in supporting and engaging the PLT network.

SFI’s vision for PLT is to not only maintain its current success but grow it through the existing network of PLT supporters and the leveraging of SFI’s network. This considerable network can elevate PLT’s relevance as a critical element of teaching and creating sustainability across North America’s forests. PLT and SFI are two organizations with many shared partners, but each organization can be stronger through a sharing and leveraging of these partnerships.

During the next few months, SFI will endeavor to learn more about what makes PLT strong and what opportunities might be pursued in the future to ensure PLT’s continued success.

We will keep you posted as this transfer becomes official. In the meantime, please visit If you have questions or want to share your thoughts, please reach out to me or our COO, Nadine Block (, 202-596-3456).

Best regards,


Kathy Abusow
President & CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
Tel: 613-722-8734