Those who know me know that for a good chunk of last year I had a dream to start a campaign across Australia to plant 1 million trees in 1 day.  Some people had the reaction of  “Whoa! Unachievable.” I didn’t think so & nor did the majority of people with whom I spoke. What was needed was organisational skills to bring together the necessary components &, most importantly, a famous person to be the public face of the campaign.  My face was definitely not suitable.

land at the back of Tempe

I had it planned, knew whom I would contact & was at the stage of deciding whether to make the leap or not.  Then Tony Abbott said he would plant 20 million trees if he was elected & I threw the whole idea out the window.  I had the idea that either side of federal politics would implement something like this now that such a proposal had been put into the public arena. Mind you, this was before Copenhagen.

I have been really excited about the many community/government supported tree planting programs world-wide.  There have been some fantastic mass tree planting achievements, some of which did occur in one day.

The Macedonian people planted 2 million trees in one day in 2008 (1 for every citizen). A year later, riding on the excitement of the previous years achievement, the Macedonian people got together & planted an extraordinary 5 million trees in 1 day in 2009. I get excited just writing this.  What an amazing thing for a community to do.

This morning I read another tree planting story that made me very happy.  Felix Finkbeiner, a 12 year old German boy decided to plant 1 million trees across the planet when he was just 9 years old.  He did a presentation at school & his idea gained wings, super-sonic wings.

Teachers & his family must have supported him, because the media became involved & they too supported his idea. Plant for Planet was formed, three years later, Germany has 1 million extra trees & tree planting in the name of this organization is happening in 70 countries. Isn’t this both amazing & wonderful. Plant for Planet aims to plant 212 million trees world-wide, 1 million trees on each country of the world. (not a typo) 1.4 million trees have already been pledged for planting.

One campaign of Plant for Planet is Stop Talking & Start Planting aimed at adults.

a gorgeous Eucalypt in the grounds of a petrol station on Parramatta Road Camperdown

Sure, there are cynics who dispute the validity of climate change & others who will say the trees will die. Regardless, with the rate of urbanisation & deforestation world-wide, we need trees & so does the wildlife. I don’t believe we can continue at this rate of tree removal & cementing of the earth without serious consequences.

Those involved in Plant for Planet are not planting small saplings. They are planting 4 metre high saplings with significant sized trunks that would have a far greater chance of survival. I presume they are also doing the obvious & organising regular watering to ensure the trees become established, strong & healthy.

Any organisation can become a part of this program & I am hoping local schools in Australia will become involved. Last year, quite a few people thought I meant to campaign for 1 million trees for Marrickville LGA. When I balked they were surprised saying the LGA could certainly fit another million trees.  I don’t even know what that would look like.  Perhaps only like Sydney’s North Shore.

We could however cope with 100,000 new trees across this LGA if private gardens joined in. Imagine what it would look like 2-5 years after planting was completed.  I think our part of the Inner West would be transformed.  The wildlife would be better off & I have no doubt we would be better off too.

Closer to home, Marrickville Council does have it’s own tree planting/bush care regeneration volunteer opportunities.

  • National Tree Day 2010. This year, Marrickville Council is planning to host National Tree Day along the Cooks River foreshore at Steel Park where the Waterplay Park will be constructed over the next few months. Sunday, 1 August 2010, Steel Park, off Illawarra Rd, Marrickville. Put it in your diary.
  • Friends of Camperdown Cemetery. 3rd Saturday of every month 9.30-11.30am. Meet inside the grounds of St Stephens Church, Church St Newtown.
  • Marrickville Landcare. 4th Sunday of every month. 9.30am -12.30pm. Meet at Marrickville Golf, Sporting & Community Club, Wharf St Marrickville.
  • Friends of the Cooks River Valley Garden. 2nd Sunday of every month 9.30am-12.30pm. Meet behind the Jets Sports Club at Tempe Reserve, Holbeach Ave Tempe.
  • Inner West Environment Group. 3rd Sunday of every month 10.00am- 1.00pm. For location details, contact or 9560-9281.
  • Marrickville Community Nursery. Wednesday 10.00am-12.00pm. Saturday & Sunday 10.00am-1.00pm.  Located at Addison Rd Centre, 142 Addison Road Marrickville

For more information, on any of these volunteer opportunities contact the Biodiversity Coordinator for Marrickville Council 9335-2254 or

autumn colour