One Tree Per Child plants 100,000 trees

Growing up: Children around Greater Shepparton have planted 100,000 native plants and trees. Photo by Rodney Braithwaite

More than 100,000 plants and trees have been put in the ground across Greater Shepparton through the One Tree Per Child program.

The aim of the program was to plant one indigenous plant for every child within the municipality aged under 18 each year — an initial target of 16,664.

“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,” City of Greater Shepparton Mayor Kim O’Keeffe said.

This target increased in subsequent years, seeing a mix of local plants including eucalypts, buloke, wattles and smaller trees planted.

The trees were planted at 104 sites, and 33 local primary and secondary schools have been involved in the project since it was launched in the region in 2016.

The planting of the Australian buloke tree is particularly significant, as it is listed as endangered under the Environment Protection Act.

“One Tree Per Child is such a wonderful program and to have the involvement from our children demonstrates the real value of protecting our flora and fauna, especially having declared a climate emergency in 2020,” Cr O’Keeffe said.

“The state of our climate and environment affects every section of our community and the generations that follow.

“This program enables our children to be involved with the rehabilitation of our environment and then to return in time to see the results, which is such a beautiful connection.”