Children’s Tree Planting Festival 2024

There were genuine moments of magic at our Children’s Tree Planting Festival last Sunday, a unique child-led experience about connecting to and caring for the earth. It was a full house with seventy family groups including 120 children joining us to re-vegetate a riverside reserve in Crawley. As well as planting, there were nature art activities, face painting, storytelling, singing and even an interactive play about shorebirds featuring wearable cardboard jet-skis!

 

The focus was of course on getting 2000 plants in the ground and our young tree planters were very enthusiastic about this. The planting areas had been dutifully weeded by the excellent Parks team at the City of Perth for a couple of years in preparation for the planting of carefully chosen endemic species. The youngsters were taught how to prepare the ground, add amendments, plant your tree and water it in so that is has the best chance of surviving.

Back at the festival base, the children got right into the nature art activities with clay play, ‘dingle dangles’, nature wands and ‘feather your nest’. Face painting was of course a hit, with some junior artists sharing their skills with their peers. Grandma Rosie and Grandma Jo lead the storytelling tent and a forest fairy on stilts helped with circus play. A variety of musicians entertained us at meal times and it was fun to see some youngsters make use of the sound equipment to initiate their own ‘open mic’ time. Not all the lyrics were discernible but the performers joy was palpable! Speaking of meals, we fed our hard working crew with lots of fruit, cake and hearty soup for lunch.

 

We’ve had wonderful feedback on the day, that it was really enjoyed by the families. We asked what people enjoyed and were delighted by comments including:

“Family fun and connection with environment, the craft was great and the music and it was so nice to leave not having spent a tonne of money”

“The sense of community, like-minded people working together”

“I was very emotional to think of all the work that goes into organising an event like that, and the dedication was clear to creating a better world for our kids.”

“My eldest talked about how doing good acts of service felt better than getting more stuff.”

 

It was great to hear many say they would keep coming back to visit the trees planted and ensure their health.

 

Something special about this event is its origin story. The idea of it came from our Grandma Rosie’s Storytime group, who meet monthly at City Farm for intergenerational singing, stories and nature play. They wanted to get some trees in the ground after seeing so many trees in Perth die this summer and doing so seemed like a great way to acknowledge and celebrate Perth City Farm’s 30th birthday.

 

So volunteers from the Farm linked up with volunteers from Activate Tree Planting, an organisation that was seeded by City Farm in the early 2000’s. It gave our Founder Rosanne Scott great joy to see these two organisations working together again. Those volunteers and their children planned and delivered the event, in collaboration with the Parks team at the City of Perth who provided lots of support including the planting site, plants, expert help and other resources on the day.

 

Importantly the children involved contributed a lot to this process including their ideas, the making of cakes and the playlist for the day. On the day, children volunteered as tree planters, cake sellers, face painters, planting group leaders and art assistants. It was great to see them give so much to each other and the earth, and learn great skills along the way.

 

So many adults gave a lot to in the planning and delivery of the event. We must thank:

  • The Parks team from the City of Perth for oodles of support
  • The volunteers from Activate Tree Planting and Perth City Farm for countless hours of work
  • The artists who donated their time and materials to provide the nature art activities
  • Trillion Trees, Upbeat Events and Birdman for supporting the event with equipment and materials
  • Serena from Studio Loka Design for creating our poster artwork.
  • The families who gave a good chunk of their weekend to get all these plants in and give back to the Boodjar that sustains us all.

 

The organising group are already enthusiastic about repeat of the event in 2025 and hope to have bigger planting sites and some sponsorship to open the festival up to more families. Please get in touch if you can help with that, and join our newsletter to hear about the event when its locked in.

 

In the meantime here are some other family friendly nature connection and earth care opportunities coming up locally: