Thirteen Brownie Girl Scouts sat around the freshly planted Marcie the Marvelous Tree on May 9, 1987, dreaming up a plan to help the Earth. The third graders set out on a journey that came to be known as TREE MUSKETEERS – the world’s first youth environmental organization.
Unlike most youth groups run by adults for kids, TREE MUSKETEERS incorporated as a nonprofit where kids sit in the driver’s seat. The young visionaries were undaunted by obstacles littering the uphill road to becoming leaders in an adult world. The philosophy was that their action might inspire others to follow, and follow they did! As word of these youth-led community projects spread, calls came in from coast to coast seeking to replicate the concept. Programs evolved on public demand, and TREE MUSKETEERS grew to national scope in just five years. The value of its work has been widely honored, including by three Presidents of the United States.
TREE MUSKETEERS’ newest generation of young executives is now behind the wheel. They are committed to continuing the tradition of empowering kids to take the
environmental lead. Innovative youth-led programs overcome historic differences between businesses and residents, environmentalists and industry, and nonprofit agencies who often compete for turf. TREE MUSKETEERS inspires while setting an example for other youth in the Hometown Program. Through hands-on projects, youth grow as competent individuals, as citizens, and as leaders while resolving local environmental issues. The Partners for the Planet Network is the outreach vehicle to deliver these tools to kids nationwide. It is the pivot point for youth and adults in the nonprofit, private, and public sectors to work together in conserving Earth’s resources, and to energize grassroots activism through collaboration among empowered young leaders.