Toyota dealership helps Brisbane students create a sustainable food and bee garden
Since 1999, Planet Ark’s National Tree Day has been proudly supported by Toyota Australia as the Major Sponsor. As a committed supporter of environmental protection, Toyota actively rallies its business network, including Dealers, Teammates, and brand ambassadors, to encourage schools, councils, and groups to connect with their community on National Tree Day.
Toyota Dealerships often go one step further in their support for local community events by providing financial assistance for seedlings and planting equipment. Such is the case with Motorama Toyota’s support for Moorooka State School in Brisbane, where the dealership helped to turn the school’s ideas for a bee garden into a reality.
The students of Moorooka State School hoped to develop their knowledge about the life cycles of plants and how to create a sustainable garden with fresh food and flowers for the bees. For National Tree Day last year, the Students Green Team set a wishlist of seedlings, including tomatoes, pumpkins, broad beans, strawberries, parsley, basil, to name a few. Motorama Toyota set off and brought back around 140 seedlings along with gardening tools for the children. The dealership also sent volunteers to help with the project who provided gardening advice to the students.
“It’s great to see the kids learning and understanding where the plants & herbs come from, how to grow them & cultivate them - and realising you can grow your own versus going to the shops to buy it,” says Anne Tanner from Motorama Toyota.
Not only did this project aim to help students learn about sustainability and growing their own food, but it would also provide fresh produce for school families, the tuck shop, and the wider community. The school had thirteen garden beds for which they made a strategic plan to deter pests but also attract birds and other pollinators to the garden. Herbs, fruit and vegetables were planted in the first set of beds, marigolds were in the next (as a natural method of pest control), and sunflowers at the end for pollinators.
“Every Grade had a time slot allocated to care for the garden beds and to plant the seedlings. It was a beautiful, sunny day under a clear blue Queensland sky – and the students were very busy weeding, planting, carrying seedlings around. Every Grade got a time slot to help.”
By the time summer rolled around, Motorama Toyota were invited to see the progress of the bee garden and were blown away by the abundance of flowers, produce and bees!
The garden’s location received plenty of full sun, so plants like cherry tomatoes thrived and the strawberry plants produced sweet little fruits, thanks to the dedicated care of the Moorooka State School students.
This year, Motorama Toyota will help the school with new plans to revitalise their Kitchen Garden. This space is used by the school’s student kitchen and will focus on growing herbs and veggies that support the recipes the students will cook in class. In the coming weeks, the dealership will once again collaborate with the school’s Green Team to discuss the student’s preferred recipes and select the ideal seedlings.
Once the garden is established and thriving the dealership will be invited to enjoy goodies made from homegrown produce, including pesto and pizzas topped with fresh herbs and veggies.
“We’ve really enjoyed seeing how engaged the school is with this project. Last year’s Grade 6 student’s minds were overflowing with ideas and what they wanted to do with the space. We all got swept up in their enthusiasm and the principal wholeheartedly supported the project.”
How to get involved:
Tree Day is a community event which brings many individuals and organisations together to support and celebrate our natural environment. Talk to your nearest Toyota Dealer to find out if they are participating in Tree Day and if they can help with your site.
Host a planting in your community or find a site near you.
Emma brings experience in digital media and communications with a background in several industries such as tourism and hospitality. Prior to joining Planet Ark in 2022, Emma spent 5 years living abroad in London & Amsterdam where she developed a greater interest in the environment and sustainability. Outside of work Emma enjoys gardening, camping and crocheting.