Yellow-tone shrubs and stable trees develop schools biodiversity in Tumut

By Hayley Webb 16 April 2024

Nestled in the foothills of the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Tumut is a town that is known for its blossoming vista which many volunteers from the area have proudly developed through National Tree Day collaborations.

Tumut Toyota have worked closely with both Franklin Public and Gundagai Public schools over a 15-year commitment to collectively plant just shy of 1000 trees in the area.

Each year, a green-fingered army of student volunteers from both schools venture out planting seedlings to develop the biodiversity local to their schools.   

Steve Hamill from Riverina Highlands Landcare Nursery has been supplying the seedlings for the past 15 years. 


“Each year we supply a seedling to each child and each teacher taking part, so everyone can get involved!  We consider which plants will both suit their school grounds and last through the long summer holidays with minimal attention.”

National Tree Day comes at just the right time of year to make sure any seedlings are well established by December and will survive the summer holidays.  

Poa species, kangaroo paw, the lemon and pale-yellow river bottlebrush are a few of the local classics selected for the plantings. Reaching heights of no more than four metres, make them a suitable for option for schools. 

“In terms of trees, the river sheoak is a very stable tree which is important when planting around children, but people also love them because of their beautiful whistle in the wind!” says  Hamill. 


The local Tumut Toyota dealership are very proud supporters and have been for well over a decade. Director Belinda O’Malley, supported by her team at the dealership enjoy attending the annual school events.  

“We look forward to lending at hand at the National Tree Day activities at Franklin and Gundagai public schools and seeing the progress the plantings make each year.   

Our grandson Myles took part last year and he loves being in nature – thanks to events like National Tree Day he can grow up knowing how important trees are for our planet.” 


Many schools, councils and community groups across the country will be taking part in National Tree Day this year, providing important environmental education about the necessity of native fauna in Australia. 

Sign up to host a planting site in your community or find a site near you to volunteer. 

Hayley Webb
After 6 years leading and developing marketing teams Hayley’s learning journey into sustainability and climate change education began and she was hooked! Being in boardrooms where sustainability wasn’t on the agenda built her passion for making sustainable business accessible for all with education that simplifys the science. When she’s not at Planet Ark Hayley is delivering Carbon Literacy Training, making Instagram reels, sourcing preloved outfits and hanging out in nature with her young family.