Local residents have come together to celebrate National Tree Day by planting thousands of seedlings at Third Settlement Reserve in Winston Hills on Sunday, 29 July. The family-friendly event, which was hosted by the City of Parramatta Council, was a huge success with around 1,000 enthusiastic volunteers in attendance.
“It’s wonderful to see our community working together to help preserve, protect and enhance our valuable environment,” Lord Mayor Cr Andrew Wilson said. “By participating in events such as this one, we are able to help ensure our City’s beautiful natural spaces will be around for generations to come.”
Participants planted 10,000 native trees, shrubs and groundcovers – including gum trees, lilly-pillies, Bursaria shrubs and kangaroo grass – along Toongabbie creek with the aim to increase the biodiversity and improve the habitat at the reserve. Third Settlement Reserve is a key corridor for native animals and birds and features the endangered Cumberland River-Flat Forest, of which there is only 30 per cent remaining in Sydney.
In addition to tree planting, there were plenty of activities to keep our younger community members busy, including a wildlife display, face painting, bushland games, craft activities, and a pop-up library. A free BBQ lunch was provided to volunteers to thank them for their efforts.
National Tree Day, an initiative by Planet Ark, is now in its 22nd year and is Australia’s largest community tree-planting and nature care event. Planet Ark encourages those who were unable to attend the event to plant a tree anyway, as “every day is Tree Day”.