Gardening and getting out into nature can be a great way to de-stress, practise a bit of mindfulness, and feel just a little more connected to this great blue planet we call home. Besides, if you’re in lockdown, there’s not a whole lot else going on.
National Tree Day is a great excuse and motivator to get stuck into the great outdoors. Founded in 1996 by the non-profit group Planet Ark and singer Olivia Newton-John, the event has seen over 26 million trees planted by five million volunteers.
This year, Planet Ark is encouraging Australians to be part of something big by connecting with nature and their community as part of National Tree Day 2021.
New research commissioned by Planet Ark has shown that seven out of 10 Australians agree their individual actions can have a positive impact on global environmental issues such as climate change.
The research also found most Australians recognise the benefits of spending time in nature and doing so inspires them to protect the environment in return.
“It’s clear from our research that Australians understand they can make a personal difference through positive environmental action and National Tree Day provides a fantastic opportunity for them to do just that,” said Planet Ark Deputy CEO Rebecca Gilling.
“There are clear benefits to spending time in nature and by planting a tree you can help cool the climate, provide homes for native wildlife, and make your community a better place to live.”
The research also found that Aussies want to live near green spaces, with 75% of us saying that living near green spaces is important to them personally.
69% also said that spending time in nature makes them want to help protect the natural environment.
Unfortunately, the findings weren’t all positive with less than a quarter of those surveyed (23%) thinking that Australian children spend enough time playing outdoors in nature.
“The indication that Australian kids aren’t spending enough time in nature is concerning as previous National Tree Day research clearly shows the benefits of interaction with nature for children’s health, wellbeing and development,” Gilling said.
“Luckily the answer to this is simple: get outside and play!”
How to get involved in National Tree Day
National Tree Day is a call to action for all Aussies to get their hands dirty and help give back to their community. If you’ve got little ones stuck at home during lockdown, this is a great way to get them active and maybe even teach them a thing or two about trees and nature.
Each year, two events are hosted: Schools Tree Day and National Tree Day. This may have been something that you did at school as a kid and it can provide a lasting impact for the next generation.
This year, Schools Tree Day is this Friday, July 30 and National Tree Day is Sunday, August 1.
Individuals are also encouraged to get involved with local activities which are all available here.
There are also guides for individuals as well who want to get involved as to how you can do that and register your efforts. The same goes for businesses who want to plant a tree and be a part of the programme.
Planet Ark stresses that all public events will be held in accordance with local COVID-19 protocols to ensure participant and community safety.
Unfortunately, for those in the Greater Sydney lockdown, National Tree Day events have been postponed for now due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Events in the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour local government areas will be rescheduled for a later date.