Sunday, May 26, 2024

Greater Shepparton hits world-first tree target

Greater Shepparton City Council has celebrated the planting of 100,000 trees, shrubs and grasses across 104 planting sites within the region as part of the One Tree Per Child global initiative.

The One Tree Per Child initiative, founded by entertainer Olivia Newton-John and social entrepreneur Jon Dee, operates in 10 countries, with Greater Shepparton City Council being the first in the world to reach 100,000 tree plantings.

To launch Council celebrations of the achievement last Friday, Yorta Yorta and Djadjawurrung man Damien Saunders welcomed schools and community land care groups to Tassicker Reserve with a welcome to country, providing insight on how the land, trees and people are connected, and “how the trees wept with the stolen generation”.

Alongside gardening guru, Costa Georgiadis, community members and school children planted an additional 500 new trees and shrubs, assisting in getting one tree closer to achieving the next 100,000 milestone in 2025, with a target to plant 24,400 plants each year and 1,000 on National Tree Day.

Since the project was launched in 2016, 33 local primary and secondary schools have been involved, with the aim of planting one indigenous plant for every child within the municipality aged under 18 each year and to restore woodland species to provide habitat for woodland birds and other native fauna.

There have been 25 varieties of native trees and shrubs that have been planted including kangaroo grass, river red gum and emu bush.

Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor, Kim O’Keeffe said it was exciting and inspiring to know that the community had reached this momentous milestone.

“One hundred thousand plants is a significant number, and it has been achieved through children’s participation collectively enhancing our region’s environment by planting native Indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses,” she said.

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