The School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) feels strongly that we all should play a role in ensuring we lessen our carbon footprint by making good sustainable choices whenever we can. The work of school libraries is all about knowledge, critical analysis of information and finding pleasure in learning about the world through the experiences of others. School libraries have a role in helping us learn how better to care for our world and the Association, led by its Committee of Management and State Council hopes to lead by example through this initiative with Fifteen Trees.
It is fitting that an image of an owl can be seen in SLAV’s logo along with the words School Libraries: Powering Learning, for it is in the district of Western Victoria (Dja Dja Wurrung Country) that we have planted 200 native trees for the Association. Home of the of the Powerful Owl.
Our November 2023 conference – School Libraries – Reading the World – brings together hundreds of people. Our decision to sponsor the planting of 200 trees, to help reduce the impact of the event was not taken lightly. The trees will be speaker gifts and also offset the overall impact of the event. We are thrilled to be able to be support this meaningful work.
Dr Susan La Marca | Executive Officer | SLAV
This spring, we organised the planting of 200 native trees – one for every person at this year’s conference in Melbourne. This including trees as thank you gifts for their fabulous speakers (21 in all).
The trees were planted at Moonambel (Dja Dja Wurrung Country) in the Western District of Victoria with the assistance of the Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare Network. The trees were predominantly Buloke and Drooping Sheoak, two species of trees that once dominated the landscape.
Traditionally, the site would have been Buloke Woodland – home to Powerful Owls and Red Tailed Black Cockatoos. Over the course of many years, the land has been significantly cleared for agriculture. Wood from the Buloke tree (one of the hardest woods in the world) was used as firewood and fenceposts. It’s not regarded as a particularly ‘pretty’ tree by the average farmer, who dislike it for its lack of fast development (it can take a hundred years to mature). This planting of 200 trees (part of a larger planting project of 900 trees) will form part of a network of habitat bio-corridors for native animals that habitat the region.
The Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua), is a species of owl native to the eastern coast of Australia including rural Victoria. It is the largest owl on the continent. This bird is also referred as the Powerful Boobook (another library reference)! Generally, this species lives in primary forests with tall, native trees, but can show some habitat flexibility when not nesting. With the planting of these 200 native trees, the local landcare group are hoping to increase their specie numbers by providing habitat vegetation for their prey (small bird species and ground mammals).
A huge thank you to the sponsors of these trees. You are helping this project to creative native habitat, combat erosion, increase soil carbon and over time, increase the numbers of our resident Powerful Owls.
Andrew Borg | Facilitator | Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare Network (BNGLN).
The school library plays a vital role in the development of literate, empathetic and knowledgeable young people.
This conference explores how school libraries create, foster and enable the reading experience to enrich their communities understanding of the world around them and themselves. With a focus on research evidence from leading academics the day explores the texts, tools, experiences, and understandings that underpin how school libraries support us in reading our world.
SLAV | 2023 | Conference Handbook
We have such affinity with organisations (and individuals!) who want to do their part to preserve their little corner of the world. And it is thanks to associations such as SLAV that we could offer 200 trees to Andrew and the Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare Network (BNGLN) to continue their preservation work.
If you would like to know more about sponsoring community tree planting projects and how we can assist you in running a sustainable event such as a conference or seminar, please contact Colleen at <[email protected]>. In the meantime, check out our blogpost on this very topic.
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.
Fifteen Trees helps individuals and businesses reduce their carbon footprint through sponsoring Australian community tree planting projects.
Fifteen Trees acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the traditional custodians of the lands where we work, live and learn.