Trees for bees and our kids’ futures

Imagine if every school motivated their matriculants to plant trees!

Wembley College in Greytown has been planting trees for its matriculants for more than 10 years. Each year, during the school’s annual Founder’s Day celebrations, trees are proudly planted for matriculants and staff service awards.

Parents and family are invited to the tree-planting ceremony where they can watch their proud son or daughter dig and prepare tree holes. During these ceremonies, photographs are taken and sometimes tears are shed, as the matriculants mark their journey to the next stage of their lives. But more trees are needed to tackle the climate crisis across the world. Wembley is certainly not alone in its tree planting endeavours.

Wembley College’s chairman, Michael Yeadon and his wife Louise planted a tree in the new indigenous bushland learning centre during the school’s Founder’s Day celebrations. Picture: Supplied

Recently the Philippines, a country devastated by deforestation, passed into law that every graduate has to plant 10 trees before they can graduate from school. This process is creating a means of ensuring sustainability of bees and other pollinators, a means to combat climate change and protect water resources. Their aim is to plant 175 million new trees a year to offset deforestation. (Sources – The Independent and treehugger.com)

Wembley College recently joined an organisation called “The Bee Effect,” which is trying to formalise a programme to establish the ongoing sustainability of planting trees. It hopes to become a #BeeSmartSchool “because if 1000 matriculants each planted 10 trees for bees a year, this would equal 10 000 trees”.

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School pupils are not the only ones thinking of planting trees.

A former Greytown resident, Liezl Hesketh, contacted Wembley College a few months ago because she wants to offset her carbon footprint to neutralise the impact our lifestyles are having on the environment.

Liezel lives in Manchester in England, where she was unable to find a suitable tree-planting initiative. Wembley College was an obvious choice for her as the school plants trees and welcomed the opportunity to help build more indigenous forest.

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Jenny Cowie, a local indigenous plant expert, is sharing her extensive knowledge of indigenous trees and the school is planting 36 trees in its Indigenous Bushland Learning Centre this month.

Each year, Liezl will donate money for more trees to be planted. A contractual agreement has been signed ensuring that her trees will not be sold for commercial use or cut down unnecessarily.

Take the lead

The school urged community members to take the lead from Liezl, the Philippines, Jenny and The Bee Effect by helping Wembley plant more indigenous trees that will help combat climate change, the loss of bees and other pollinators and create a greener future for our children.

Main picture, top: Arnaud Mesureur/Unsplash