Stories from The Seedling Bank: Australia Street Infant School - National Tree Day Blog

Stories from The Seedling Bank: Australia Street Infant School

Sydney’s youngest environmental heroes bringing green to the inner city.

A small school accommodating students from preschool to year 2 in the inner Sydney suburb of Newtown has been busy greening their grounds and teaching the kids about the importance of nature.  

The staff and students at Australia Street Infant School were beneficiaries of a grant from The Seedling Bank and used funding to purchase a selection of native trees to plant as part of National Tree Day activities. Soumali, a parent at the school, understands the importance of connecting children with nature in an urban environment. 

“Even though the school site and playground are small, there were still plenty of areas that could be improved by planting trees to create shade and habitat, and a bushfood garden,” she says.  

In addition to the environmental benefits of the planting at Australia Street, with both mid storey and larger canopy trees planted in the gardens, the students also benefited from the nature-based activities.  

“I'd expected the kids to enjoy the activity of planting itself, but I hadn't anticipated how emotionally attached they would also become to the little tree they planted!” Soumali says.   The teachers also arranged a craft activity for the kids to decorate a tree guard for each seedling. One very cute example pictured below:  

The staff and students at Australia Street Infant School have a holistic approach to sustainability and environmentalism, as they also have a compost system to fight food waste and a native beehive to support pollinator populations. They are an inspiring example of how a small, inner city space can be used for a range of environmental activities.  

If you have an environmental project you’d like support with, apply for a grant from The Seedling Bank.  

Sarah Chaplin

Sarah joined the Planet Ark team in early 2019 to work in the Information Centre and on the National Tree Day Seedling Bank special project. She is passionate about environmental science and has an academic background in biology and conservation science. Since graduating, she has worked with small not-for-profit environmental organisations and is delighted to be able to put her range of skills and experience to use at Planet Ark.