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The Greening of Detroit—Tree Keepers Kids: 2006-2007 Evaluation Report, Executive Summary


The primary finding from this evaluation was that the Tree Keepers Kids (TKK) program played a key role in helping all five schools under investigation to increasingly use the outdoors as a focal point for learning.

The strongest outcomes were seen in the schools with a strong pre-existing relationship with The Greening of Detroit, active principal support, a strong staff champion, and a general readiness for outdoor learning. TKK helped to sustain and support a slow but steady learning curve as educators adopted the practice of using hands-on lessons in an outdoor classroom (OC) to teach traditional concepts and content. At each school, a few individuals and groups tended to use the OC more frequently, beyond when TKK staff delivered lessons. At all five schools, the vast majority of educators interviewed reported TKK to be an important asset with high value for students, educators, and the school community as a whole. Additional findings included:


Label Value
Author Plumb, S., Becker-Klein, R., Duffin, M., & PEER Associates
Pedagogical Area
  • place-based education, environment as integrating context (EIC)
  • environmental education
  • outdoor education, experiential education
Delivery Area
  • school based
Outcome Area
  • academic performance
  • environmental knowledge, attitude and awareness
  • stewardship behavior
  • teacher practice
Participant Area
  • student
  • educator
  • environment
Demographic Area
  • urban
Age Area
  • elementary (6-11 years old)