There was no need to encourage Eden Public School students to dig in and have a go on Friday, as a group of around 20 enthusiastic kids got into the spirit of Schools National Tree Day.
Assisted by teachers and staff members from the event’s local partner Eden Toyota, the students from across a number of year groups planted trees including acacia wattles and pineapple guavas on school grounds.
And while they may be about the size of a ruler now, they’re sure to be a sight to see in a few years’ time, with the species capable of growing up to six and seven metres tall respectively.
Principal John Davidson said the initiative, run by Planet Ark, is a great way of bringing the school and community together, and giving the students a sense of pride.
“It gives them the sense that they’re contributing something to Australia, helps beautify the grounds, and just generally makes school a brighter and happier place to be,” Mr Davidson said.
“It’s also very well planned out when you think about the types of trees we’re planting; we’re not having big gum trees that are going to be losing their branches in 20 or 30 years’ time and putting kids at risk.
“All these kids will go home tonight and tell their families what they did today, and they’ll be proud of their contribution.
“It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that they will come back here in the future with their children or grandchildren, and they’ll be able to say, ‘I planted this tree in 2014’.
“There’s that long-term link between school and community, and any program that links this closer to the community and that will make a difference, we’ll be supportive of and we will participate in.
“We’ve got to say thanks to Toyota and Eden Motor Group, Planet Ark and everybody who’s contributed to this; it’s much appreciated.”
Eden Motor Group was represented by general manager Matthew Taylor, and staff members Corrine White and Brenda Webster.
They will also hold planting events at Jigamy Farm and Eden Golf Club on Monday, and managing director Con Zurcas says he is only too happy to give back to the community.
“Toyota has a long tradition of supporting Australian communities to globally improve the environment, so we are digging in to do our bit for National Tree Day this year,” Mr Zurcas said.
“Our staff have their shovels ready to support this great cause and give something back to our community.”
This year’s National Tree Day falls on Sunday, July 27, and Planet Ark spokesperson Debbie Agnew says every tree makes a difference.
“Each year, more than 200,000 people take part in National Tree Day at approximately 3000 planting sites, which is testament to the willingness of Australian communities to do what they can to support the environment,” she said.
“Every tree we plant on National Tree Day or Schools Tree Day has a positive impact on the future of our planet.”