National Tree Day is next Sunday.

National Tree DayWe are so lucky to be surrounded by gorgeous bushland and big, healthy trees but without care, our environment won’t thrive for long.

That’s where National Tree Day comes in. National Tree Day was co-founded by Olivia Newton-John and Planet Ark in 1996, and since then more than 2.8 million people have planted over 17 million native trees and shrubs.

The event focuses on planting and caring for our local native trees and plants. It’s important to plant local species because they have adapted to our climate and soil.  Other species might not do so well here.  Local trees and plants also offer the best food and shelter for our local wildlife.  It’s all about balance in the world of nature.

In addition to the environmental benefits of National Tree Day, Planet Ark intends to reintroduce children to the outdoor world.  In 2012 Planet Ark and their sponsor Toyota Australia prepared a report on the “benefits of interaction with nature for children’s health, wellbeing and development.”  The report found that within the space of one generation here in Australia, our children have lost the freedom to explore and play outdoors.

Isn’t that sad?   Can you imagine having grown up without trees to climb or bushes to play hide-and-seek behind?  I can’t.

This year, National Tree Day will be held on Sunday 28 July 2013.  Around our local area there are many opportunities to get involved.  To find an event in your area head to the National Tree Day site and click on “find an event.”

If you have never planted a tree before and you’d like to learn how to do it well, head off to one of Bunning’s free ‘How To Plant A Tree’ workshops. Once again, check the “find an event” link to find the workshop closest to you.

The day is an important one but it’s a fun one, too.  Get out and get your hands (and knees) dirty for a good cause and show your kids what it’s like to play outdoors.