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Project Learning Tree - Florida

Use the environment to engage children in learning – both outside and indoors.
Project Learning Tree-Florida logo

Project Learning Tree - Florida

Use the environment to engage children in learning – both outside and indoors.

PLT Awards

Project Learning Tree applauds all educators, facilitators, and partners whose efforts make our program successful. Each year, Florida PLT recognizes a Facilitator, Educator, and Partner of the Year for their outstanding contributions to the program.

In 2018, The Bill Kleinhans Spirit of Florida PLT award was initiated and is awarded to an individual, group, or organization that exemplifies the essence of Florida PLT, furthering the mission and goals of the program.

National PLT also awards a Leadership in Education Award annually to recognize those who make significant contributions to advance PLT programs and initiatives at the state or regional level.

Congratulations to the 2022 Florida PLT Award Recipients!

Congratulations to Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park, 2022 Florida PLT Partner of the Year; Tish Roland, 4-H Youth Development Agent, 2022 Florida PLT Facilitator of the Year; and Irene "Trini" Johannesen, Columbia County Science Teacher, 2022 Florida PLT Educator of the Year. 

Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park, 2022 Florida PLT Partner of the Year

Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park (or Friends) is a Citizen Support Organization formed to support the only state park in Palm Beach County--John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. In 2001, Friends made a dedicated effort to support environmental education (EE), launching the EE Programs, free to all Palm Beach County students, 1st - 12th grade. Serving approximately 5,000 students and teachers each year, the education programs focus on experiential, hands-on EE, aligned to state standards and STEM connections. Hundreds of educators have taken part in Project Learning Tree trainings over the past 12 years, as Friends offer at least one PLT Training each year.

Over the years, Friends of MacArthur Beach State Park have had every Director of Education become a PLT Facilitator. As Veronica Frehm, the Executive Director of MacArthur Beach State Park said, "We truly love PLT and thank Florida and National PLT for all of their work putting together such a great program."

Tish Roland, 2022 Florida PLT Facilitator of the Year

Tish became a PLT Facilitator in May of 2015. She has used almost all PLT curriculum guides through educator trainings and by leading activities for high school youth using the secondary guides. Since 2015, Tish has led five in-person trainings and will lead a statewide FL 4-H PLT training in January 2023. She has also attended several FL PLT professional development Facilitator Learning Series for webinars in 2021 and 2022 as well as both virtual FL PLT annual events in 2020 and 2021. Tish is also a project WILD facilitator, she has completed the Florida Master Naturalist Program, and is a Florida Land Steward. She works with several high school groups teaching environmental education, incorporating PLT secondary activities into her work with high school students. 

Irene "Trini" Johannesen, 2022 Florida PLT Educator of the Year

With over 25 years of science teaching experience, Trini was nominated by Janet Schnauss, Duval County K-5 Specialist, who said, "Trini was my mentor as a first-year teacher. She was passionate about outdoor education, and she encouraged me to be a teacher who takes students outdoors for learning experiences...Trini really helped spark my love of environmental education." Trini incorporates PLT activities regularly into her curriculum. Many of these activities are part of the PARKnership she helped create in 1999 with Fort White High School and Ichetucknee Springs State Park. Trini takes her students to Ichetucknee Springs State Park for experiences where they learn more about the park and water, enhancing learning for her students though outside experiences and activities. Trini is truly and inspiring teacher. 

2022 National PLT Leadership in Education

Congratulations to Janet Schnass, Elementary Science Specialist for Duval County Public Schools for receiving the 2022 National PLT Leadership in Education Award!

Janet has been a PLT facilitator since 2015, and from 2019-2021, she facilitated seven PLT professional development events for 133 educators in Florida.Read more here.

 

Past Recipients

Meet past recipients of PLT awards

Nominations for 2023 Florida PLT Awards

Nominations are now being accepted through June 1, 2023. Nominate a deserving educator, facilitator or partner today! Download a nomination form and email the completed form to Elise Cassie: ecassie@ufl.edu

2023 Educator of the Year Nomination Form

2023 Facilitator of the Year Nomination Form 

2023 Partner of the Year Nomination Form