More than 50 students from Leanyer Primary School have planted 300 trees and shrubs in support of Planet Ark’s National Schools Tree Day event at Breezes Muirhead, a new neighbourhood in Darwin’s northern suburbs.

Representatives from Breezes Muirhead and Greening Australia Northern Territory (GANT) joined forces to educate the local students about biodiversity and the importance of urban habitat provision.

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) and Investa Land, developers of Breezes Muirhead hosted the event, supplying the plants and providing a picnic lunch for the students.

“We aim to inspire and encourage the Leanyer Primary students to become involved with their local environment,” said Peter Howman, DHA Managing Director.

Dozens of native species of trees, shrubs and grasses were planted in three areas surrounding Woodland Park, one of several large neighbourhood parks. Seedlings were produced from seeds collected from the site.

“The objective of the planting was to build on the local biodiversity and create more shaded areas. By involving the students and giving them an opportunity to physically plant the trees we hope they will feel more connected to the environment,” said Nina James, Sustainability Manager, Investa Land.

“In years to come, they will be able to watch with pride as their plants grow and a beautiful urban forest evolves,” Ms James said.

Trainees undertaking Greening Australia’s Aboriginal Landcare Education Programme (ALEP) also participated in the National Tree Day event, preparing the ground for the planting and assisting the primary school students with the planting on the day.

The Breezes Muirhead project team and GANT partnered to support the education program in 2013.  As a result of the partnership, the project has secured continuous operation of the Greening Australia Nursery, and therefore a stable supply of endemic plants for revegetation works. The training provides the students with practical experience in nursery operation, seed collection, plant propagation, irrigation and landscaping.

Planet Ark's National Tree Day is an annual event that provides Australians with the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their environment and reconnect with nature through more than 4,000 tree plantings across the country. Since 1996, more than 20 million seedlings have been planted.