Top tips for a successful application to Planet Ark's Seedling Bank

By Claire Laws 10 December 2023

Each year, thousands of National Tree Day plantings are organised by dedicated site coordinators across the country. We are often approached by groups looking for seedlings to plant during their National Tree Day events.

Whilst we do not provide seedlings for plantings, we do run Planet Ark's Seedling Bank where eligible groups (including schools and community groups) have the opportunity to apply for funding to purchase seedlings for National Tree Day. Before we get into some tips for applying for funding, be sure to reach out to your local council during the early stages of planning your event. They may be able to provide your group with some seedlings (or other support). Many schools and community groups have formed a wonderful ongoing relationship with their local council and receive support each National Tree Day. 

How to apply for funding through Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank  

All schools and community groups can apply for funding at the same time as registering a planting on the National Tree Day website. When applications are open, you’ll see an extra section at the bottom of the event registration page, which you’ll need to fill in to apply for funding.

We generally have two rounds of funding available each year – the first round is usually November to February and the second round in May. To be notified as soon as new funding is available, be sure to subscribe to the National Tree Day newsletter (at the bottom of this page) or follow us on facebook or Instagram

If you’ve registered your planting event outside the time when we’re accepting applications (and therefore the registration form does not allow you to apply for funding at that point), please get in touch once the next funding round opens and we can help add a funding request to your event. Simply email the Tree Day team via enquiries@planetark.org for assistance.   

Tips for a successful application  

Your application will be assessed against key categories: value for money, collaboration, community engagement, and environmental outcomes. We prioritise projects with the greatest environmental and social benefits that align with National Tree Day's mission to connect people with nature and promote the regeneration of ecosystems we depend on. Here's more guidance to help you increase your chances of success. 

Value for money 

When applying, estimate how much funding and how many seedlings you need. We prefer a minimum of 25 seedlings, and the recommended budget is $5 per seedling, but you can justify a higher amount. Social and environmental benefits are more important than value for money, so provide enough information to support your project. Be specific and avoid brief sentences. 

Community engagement (social outcomes) 

We love supporting collaborative National Tree Day projects that bring communities together. Let us know how many volunteers you're expecting and how you'll be working with other groups in your community. Also, tell us how your project will benefit your local community or school community. 

Successful schools and community groups have engaged their entire community or worked with local councils and environment groups. They have run plantings with many volunteers and encouraged the community to restore public spaces. 

We are passionate about the social element of environmental projects. Tell us how you plan to inspire your community to get involved and connect with nature. 

Environmental outcomes 

Environmental benefits are prioritised when we assess projects. We require native plants to be planted, with a focus on larger regeneration projects. However, even smaller plantings can have a great impact if they provide habitat for native pollinators or contribute to a larger network of habitat. 

Provide details about the habitat you’re restoring and the species that will benefit, including any threatened species. Ongoing monitoring to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project is also encouraged. 

Successful projects have restored riverbanks, created habitats for threatened species, and propagated local seed for their plantings.

You’re now set for the next round of Seedling Bank offers 

Although the application form is brief, it’s best to provide as much detail as possible, particularly around expected social and environmental benefits, so your application has the best chance of receiving funding.  

If you need some extra guidance or inspiration for your application, check out some of the past funding recipients in our Tree Talk reports.  

Finally, thanks to all past, present and future National Tree Day site coordinators – your involvement truly helps us achieve our vision to connect people with nature and regenerate Australia’s important ecosystems. Through Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank, we hope to support even more groups across Australia in the years to come!

Banner image by Silvia Di Domenicantonio at Rainforest rescue’s planting event supported by Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank.  

Claire Laws
Claire joined the Planet Ark team in 2021. With a background in Environmental Science and a Masters in Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, Claire is keen to build on her previous work in ecological research and be part of Planet Ark's actions-based approach to environmental protection.