I encourage Heathcote locals to register for Planet Ark’s 21st National Tree Day event. Communities have embraced National Tree Day for two decades because it has such a positive influence on people’s wellbeing and the environment.  More than 23 million native trees, shrubs and grasses have been planted since the event’s inception in 1996. I encourage everyone to get outside and do a good deed for our community’s future.

Native plants not only provide local wildlife with suitable food and habitat, they also help connect bush land and create green corridors for animals to safely forage for food and shelter.National Tree Day is the nation’s largest tree planting event. Anyone can get involved in a local event or register to plant a tree in their own backyard, courtyard or balcony garden.

Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the event was not only a great way to connect with the local environment but it helped capture greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. “Trees remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as they grow, locking them away, while simultaneously improving the environmental values of the local environment,” Mr Speakman said.

“In May the NSW Government announced it would be the first state government to take part in the Federal Government’s carbon credit scheme, which means more than 200,000 new trees will be planted in NSW national parks.”

The Emissions Reduction Fund is a voluntary scheme that aims to provide incentives for organisations and individuals to adopt new practices and technologies to reduce their emissions. Mr Speakman said the NSW ERF plantings would cover 520 hectares and sequester almost 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over ten years.

Last year almost 300,000 people took part in National Tree Day at more than 3,500 sites across the nation – more than 1.2 million native trees, shrubs and edibles were planted.

To find a local event visit treeday.planetark.org