Barwon Water is helping students from more than 10 schools plant thousands of native grasses and shrubs as part of its Schools Tree Day program.

Students at 12 local schools have signed up for the program, with more than 2,500 plants expected to be planted over the course of July-September.

As part of Barwon Water’s program this year, Geelong Cats AFLW player Georgie Prespakis joined students from Clonard College on Schools Tree Day on Friday 28 July to plant native grasses, shrubs and trees at Kevin Kirby reserve Herne Hill.

This is the second year Clonard College has conducted tree planting at the local reserve, with students improving biodiversity by adding more than 500 plants to the established gardens.

Prespakis said it was great to lend a hand on the day as part of the program.

“At the Cats, we are always looking at ways we can make a positive difference and it was pleasure to join Barwon Water and students at Clonard College to start the planting and be part of the program.”

Other schools participating in this year’s Schools Tree Day include Grovedale College, Herne Hill Primary School, Northern Bay College and Winchelsea Primary School.

Barwon Water Education Advisor Fernando Garcia said that to celebrate Schools Tree Day, each year Barwon Water provides interested schools in the Barwon region with a selection of native and indigenous plants to assist in revegetating existing garden beds or establish a new native garden.

“Planting native and indigenous plants improves biodiversity, provides food and shelter for native animals and improves the students’ learning environment.

“The day is a wonderful opportunity to encourage students outside, engaging with nature and learning about biodiversity, native and indigenous flora and fauna and the importance of connecting with, and caring for, the environment.”

Mr Garcia said Barwon Water’s support of Schools Tree Day also came from the water corporation’s Strategy 2030 aim for a healthier environment – one of four key customer outcomes strongly supported by Barwon Water customers during its 2023 Price Submission engagement.

Schools Tree Day supports National Tree Day on Sunday July 30.

National Tree Day started in 1996 and is Australia’s largest community tree-planting and nature care event. As part of the day more than 4 million people have planted 24 million trees and plants.

“The spirit of National Tree Day is something everyone can get involved with, even after the day has passed,” Mr Garcia said.

“It’s a great way to get outside and engage with the environment while giving it a helping hand at the same time.”

For more information, visit the National Tree Day website

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