September 20, 2023

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Bayside Green Team. Rallying for the planet.

When great friends Frankie, Edith, Nora, Cormac and Clotilde got together on a chilly Melbourne morning over the school holidays, it was for a very different kind of fun than their usual holiday catch-ups. It was to raise money for a cause close to their heart.

TREES PLANTED

90

If like us you feel alarmed at the state of the planet’s health, and what we are leaving behind for next generations to deal with, you’ll be thrilled to read about the Bayside Green Team fundraiser. A team of 5 kids from 2 families, sat on a windswept street in Melbourne’s winter (during their school holidays) to raise funds to purchase trees for the koalas of the Mornington Peninsula.

 

Over the course of the morning, they raised enough money to purchase 90 trees! Full story below.

 

 

Primary school friends fundraise for 90  trees in just two hours.

Friends with a passion for the environment talk about the perks of raising money for a cause close to their heart.  For a long time, the group of friends – ranging in age from 7-11 years old – had been looking at how they could take positive action to support the environment.

Their wish was simple: to do something positive to help the koalas, birds, and other native species they love and passionately want to protect.

“We did a unit of inquiry at school about Natural Disasters.” said Edith (10 yo). “We talked a lot about bushfires and it made me really sad realizing how many animals suffered and how much of their habitat was destroyed.” Frankie (11 yo) shares the same passion: “I love animals and I’ve always wanted to do something to help the environment. We just didn’t know how to start.”

Young environmentalists face a challenge: Unlike the well-organised sports activities for junior sports enthusiasts, young environmentalists have to look harder to find an outlet for their passion. So when an action-oriented, environmental cause said they had a way to help the group, they were all ears:

Enter: Fifteen Trees.

When Fifteen Trees found out about the kids’ passion for protecting wildlife they came to the party with a call to action the kids could relate to:

“Plant more trees to reduce your carbon footprint and walk a little more gently on the planet”

The group, who call themselves the “Bayside Green Team” had an initial aim to raise enough to meet the 15 trees goals: or $75.

Or, as the friends said many times to passers-by in their local shopping strip:

“A dollar makes a difference. But $5 buys a tree.”

In the end, they raised $450, many times their expectations. Apart from their delight at such a successful few hours, they also got some interesting insights into their community along the way:

“Many people stopped to talk and told us about their stories about tree planting and animal helping,” said Cormac, (9 yo).

One donation in particular made an impression with the group when a boy who was just a few years older than themselves, stopped by to find out more and ended up handing over his $20 in pocket money, saying: “Keep the change!”

For the youngest two of the group, Clotilde and Nora, both 7, staying warm and snacking were an important highlight:

“My favourite part of the day was eating snacks like hot chips and handing over postcards when people asked for more information,” said Clotilde.

The kids were really proud and happy to learn their efforts mean 90 trees will be planted by the Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation this spring.

What a team!

Emily Parkinson | Bayside Green Team | Marketing Manager

 

Not stopping at simply raising the funds, the team then went on to attend a tree planting morning on Sunday September 10th at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula, on the traditional lands of the Boon Wurrung / Bunurong people of the Kulin Nation.

 

The Bayside Green Team (with parents, Emily and Julia in the back row).

 

The project is coordinated by the Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation (MPKC), a group dedicated to creating a koala wildlife corridor (connecting existing sections of koala habitat and food trees). This involves planting in the existing koala corridors, thereby encouraging koalas out of urban areas and away from the many threats they face.

 

 

 

Within a few short hours, 500 native trees (and shrubs and grasses) had been planted at the Red Hill site. By planting a wide variety of locally native plant species, the project is aiming to restore habitats that would have existed prior to land clearing. This means, that the native flora is able to regenerate, and the local wildlife can return to the trees to use them as food sources and habitat.

 

Collecting the pots, which will be cleaned and reused by the nursery.

 

The Somers Koala Habitat Project is a fabulous project to support. With over 70% of landholders participating in this revegetation project it is also backed by Mornington Peninsula Shire, Parks Victoria and the Department of Defence. And now with sponsors such as Fifteen Trees and Bayside Green Team, this revegetation project has grown by leaps and bounds.

 

To achieve our goals, we need funding to purchase trees needed for the wildlife corridors. All money received goes directly towards bringing our project and goals to life. Thank you to supporters of Fifteen Trees for your assistance by purchasing trees on our behalf.

Dirk Jensan | Coordinator | MPKC

 

Shoutout to Julia and Emma, the super eco-mums behind these kids. After all the ‘nut doesn’t fall far from the tree’.

 

A mighty job.

 

If you would like to know more about our ‘School fundraisers’ check out our webpage and reach out to Donna at <[email protected]>.

 

Writer: Colleen B. Filippa

 

With a background in Environmental Science, Colleen is the Founding Director of Fifteen Trees. In 2009, after 20 years in primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions, Colleen left the classroom to start the company. Fifteen Trees is a social enterprise assisting individuals and companies to reduce their carbon footprint by supporting community groups such as Landcare, schools and environmental networks.

 

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