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Schools and communities embark on tree planting adventures

National Tree Day and Schools Tree Day are treemendous opportunities for communities to branch out and do something positive for their local environment and to reconnect with nature.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, commended the efforts of schools and communities to look after their patch, and said it complemented Landcare initiatives that have been caring for Australia’s unique environment for more than 25 years.

“We all have a role to play in looking after our environment and keeping our land healthy and productive for future generations, and National Tree Day is the perfect opportunity for those wanting to get involved,” Minister Hartsuyker said.

“It encourages people from all walks of life to get out into nature, to learn about their local environment. Getting children involved also helps to educate, inspire and recruit future generations of Landcarers.

“It’s a rewarding experience too—planting native trees and restoring bushland supports native animals, helps to combat salinity, improves water quality, prevents soil erosion and provides the fresh air we take for granted each day.

“Since the first National Tree Day in 1996, over 3.8 million people have planted upwards of 23 million trees. It’s great to see that so far in 2017, nearly 200,000 people will be getting their hands dirty with the aim of planting close to 550,000 seedlings.

“These efforts are complementary to the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme, which for more than 25 years has been protecting, restoring and sustaining soils, water and unique plants and animals, as well as helping farmers to farm sustainably, tackle degradation of land and waterways, and restore native habitats and revegetation.

“The Landcare 20 Million Trees Programme aims to establish healthy, self-sustaining ecosystems by planting 20 million native trees across the country, with one of the main goals being to improve habitats for native wildlife, including endangered or threatened species.

“It’s estimated that Australian wide, there are now 5400 fully fledged Landcare groups and more than 6500 Junior Landcare groups. Landcare groups are supported by a large number of volunteers, many of whom are farmers who know that agricultural productivity can only be maintained or improved if the future of our precious natural resource base is assured.

“The Australian Government has invested more than $1 billion to support better natural resource management across Australia through Landcare. It’s an investment in our future.”

Schools Tree Day is today, Friday 28 July 2017, followed by National Tree Day on Sunday 30 July 2017.

Source: Australian Government

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