Students dig in for Schools Tree Day

OGILVIE High School students recently donned their gumboots, took up their shovels and got down and dirty in the mud as part of Schools Tree Day on Friday 24 July.

Organised by Planet Ark, approximately 280,000 students at 3,000 schools across Australia took part in the event, through which students learn to plant and care for seedlings.

Ogilvie High School teacher Jane Williams said Ogilvie participated by re-establishing the missing and damaged trees in the school’s driveway avenue.

“Ten students, one staff member and two gardeners took part in the event,” she said.

“The replanting marked the beginning of a complete restoration of the avenue, which will maintain the school’s park-like grounds as a community landmark for years to come.”

Ms Williams said the planting took roughly half-a-day and went smoothly with everyone getting the chance to join in.

“Now all that is left to complete the restoration is to grow the grass in the empty patches that have been dug up,” she said.

“Hopefully it won’t take too long, and it will make our grounds look more complete.”

Year 10 student Maya Rappl said the best part of the day was “getting out and doing something positive for the school.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Tree Day, with 22 million trees being planted by Australians during that time.

“This year we are celebrating 20 years of greening the places where Aussie kids grow with students and teachers across the country,” National Tree Day manager Debbie Agnew said.

“Schools Tree Day is an important tradition to celebrate as it has for so long focused on the health and wellbeing of kids, as well as the environment.”

Waimea Heights Primary School students also joined together to celebrate the national day, learning about sustainability and environmental isuses at the local level.

“This has been an opportunity to do something positive for our local environment and community and to reconnect with nature,” teacher Brian Andrews said.

“We are grateful to the Forestry Commission for the donation of trees, as well as the great number of trees donated by our families,” he said.

“At Waimea we are very keen to remove weeds and put natives back into our campus for their environmental value and to attract native birds.”

For more information about Schools Tree Day, go to http://treeday.planetark.org/schools/

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