August 16, 2023


Planted in

GJG Melb Inner NW. Nature is where we belong.

‘Nature is not a place to visit, it is a home that we all belong to, so it’s only fitting to give back’. This is a quote we heard a long time ago and it’s something that stuck with us and something we try to live by. Mark and Karyn Pemmelaar.



Karyn and Mark Pemmelaar and the team from G.J. Gardner Homes Melbourne Inner North West are generous supporters of local community groups and their tree planting projects. Over the past 9 years the team at Essendon have purchased over 2,000 native trees for their local community.



G.J. Gardner prides itself on being a practical, hands-on family affair, and the staff happily go out with their local community to help plant their trees. Local Landcare groups determine the best tree species for the site. The seedlings themselves are often grown by local independent nurseries who have collected seed from the region by hand.


GJG also kick in for tree guards.


2023 Planting | 300 trees | Darebin Creek, VIC


Darebin Creek flows through Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Narrap country and it is here that the Friends of Darebin Creek are creating a wildlife corridor from Nangak Tamboree to Bundoora Park with the help of G.J. Gardner Melbourne Inner NW.

While the aim of the project is to provide habitat cover for small woodland birds like superb wrens, it will also provide multiple benefits for biodiversity and community creek connection. The Friends group are working with La Trobe University to monitor soil biota and invertebrates to record change in response to the ecological restoration.

Some of the species planted included numerous wattles and eucalypts along with Banksias and Drooping Sheoak.



Welcome to Country from a Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder at the start of the day.


The area being revegetated is dominated by small birds including pardalotes and wrens. Mammals such as ring-tail possums and Rikali are in the area as well as blue-tongue lizards. Over time, these trees and shrubs will provide habitat for these native animals.


Thank you to GJG Homes for your contribution to the ecological restoration of the Darebin Creek at the Arch Gibson Reserve. We have seen great progress over the past three years and the Friends of Darebin Creek are most grateful.

Danny Redan | Coordinator | Friends of Darebin Creek


2022 Planting | 450 trees | Darebin Creek, VIC


On an early Sunday in June,  The Friends of Darebin Creek held a community gathering with 70 people. Over the course of the day, they planted well over 1,000 native plants. This included 450 trees (and tree guards) generously donated by Karyn and Mark Pemmelaar.


Neighbours kept an eye on proceedings.


The day involved a range of community activities, including a Welcome to Country from a Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elder, water bug discovery and tree planting for small woodland bird habitat as part of establishing a biodiversity corridor in the stretch of Darebin Creek from Nangak Tamboree near Plenty Road to the Ring Road. Some of the 22 indigenous species of plants included; Acacia, Banksia, Correa, Goodenia, Grevillea, Poa and Lomandra.


We had a very successful community planting day on Sunday June 5 as part of the Friends of Darebin Creek Reach Four connectivity project involving The Nangak Tamboree Wildlife Sanctuary. Members of the community were welcomed by Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung elder, Bill Nicholson with a smoking ceremony. Michelle Perry from Darebin also spoke about the natural values of Darebin Creek.

Thank you Karyn and Mark for your continued support of our revegetation projects along the Darebin.

Danny Reddan | Coordinator | Darebin Creek Management Committee Inc.


The Nangak Tamboree Wildlife Sanctuary is La Trobe’s Outdoor Laboratory, thirty hectares of River Red Gum woodland operating for the conservation of Indigenous flora and fauna in Melbourne’s north over fifty years. Specialising in transformative education experiences for primary, secondary and tertiary students, as well as tours, volunteering, and a thriving Indigenous plant nursery. Their motto is ‘Respecting, sharing, and caring for the Darebin‘.



Friend of Darebin Creek volunteer


2021 + 2020 Planting | 420 Trees | Darebin Creek, VIC


The trees (180 from 2020 and 240 trees in 2021), were planted on behalf of G.J. Gardner Homes Melbourne Inner North West by the children from Reservoir East primary school, plus local community members.


tree planting
From little things big things grow.


Community volunteers were engaged in revegetation of the upper  western slopes, south of Dunne Street with indigenous plants comprising 24 species including the rare Banksia marginata.

Reservoir East Primary school students planted 250 plants with the remaining 170 being planted by members of the local community.  These plants were selected to provide habitat connectivity for small woodland birds by providing them with cover from aggressive noisy miners and food when mature.

Danny Reddan | Coordinator | Darebin Creek Management Committee Inc.


tree planting
Learning about tube stock.


2019 | 300 trees | Toolern Creek, VIC


Mark and Karyn Pemmelaar from G. J. Gardner Homes Melbourne North West generous supporters of local community groups and their tree planting projects. This year, Mark and Karyn purchased 300 trees for Lyn Holdsworth and her Landcare group – Friends of Toolern Creek. The trees were planted on Monday August 12th by Friends of Toolern Creek, staff from the GJG Essendon office, staff from head-office in Tullamarine and Fifteen Trees.
As a result, all trees were planted on the day! Great effort.
| carbon offsetting


Thank you to Mark and Karyn, not only for providing trees to Lyn and her team but for also taking some time out of the office to help plant. Thank you also to Lyn  for finding such a great site for these trees and coordinating the tree planting day.


carbon offset
Team from G.J. Gardner Homes with Friends of Toolern Creek volunteers Lou (far left) and Lyn (far right).


2018 | 315 trees | Toolern Creek, VIC


Mark and Karyn Pemmelaar from G. J. Gardner Homes are generous supporters of local community groups and their tree planting projects. This year, the Essendon team purchased 315 trees for Lyn Holdsworth and the Friends of Toolern Creek Landcare Group. Joining with Mark and Karyn were Sacha Wallace and Kenji Yeo, and from head office in Tullamarine, Jess Morris, Daniel McNamara , Adam Gleeson and Corey Heard.


Planting day with GJG Essendon and Head office


Thank you to GJG for helping us out with our tree planting projects at Toolern Creek. It was terrific to have you at the planting site putting in the trees (315) you generously purchased for us through Fifteen Trees. The GJG office must be a wonderful place to work. To allow your workers to leave the office to come plant is a wonderful gesture. And it is very much appreciated.

Lyn Holdsworth | President | Friends of Toolern Creek.


On Thursday July 26th, the sun shone beautifully to allow GJG to plant. They were accompanied by local school students from Melton Primary, with teachers and parents. The children’s role was to hammer in the stakes. And what a job they did. After 2 hours of work, all trees had been planted and morning tea was served. Fresh sandwiches and homemade cake.


Toolern Creek, Melton

2015 Planting | 90 trees | Five Mile Creek, VIC


First office ‘out of the blocks‘ with tree planting was the Essendon office of GJG. Mark and Karyn Pemmelaar’s 90 trees were planted last Sunday at Five Mile Creek, Essendon.


Marvellous day on Sunday, with a big turn out of wonderful helpers.  The Five Mile Creek embankment now has 90 trees planted, softening its edges and improving the environment. The Five Mile rises at Essendon Airport. Many years ago, it was diverted into underground pipes through Strathmore. It comes up to the surface again at the Moonee Ponds. The area was a weedy and denuded area with many exotic trees, pines, plums, holly, elms and willows. Many thanks for helping out with this project and a special mention to G.J. Gardner.

Ginny Moylan | Coordinator | Friends of Five Mile Creek






Mark and Karyn Pemmelaar


G.J. Gardner’s core business is building homes. Safe, secure places for families to grow and thrive for many years to come. We love that alongside this G.J. Gardner is planting forests, which is very much the same thing; safe, secure places for fauna and flora to grow and thrive for many years to come.



If you are interested in how your business and Fifteen Trees could work together, contact Colleen at <[email protected]> or check out our Company page for more info.


Writer: Colleen 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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