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Pretty in Pink - Fiona Driehuyzen

Twenty-five community groups dig deep to plant trees for bees

Scottsdale High School in north-east Tasmania, Stella Life Care in Queensland’s Whitsundays, and Pasadena and St Marys Action Group in Adelaide were among the 24 community groups to receive funding to plant bee friendly trees and shrubs in their local communities.

The inaugural Carman’s Trees for Bees Community Tree Grants program provided a total of $12,000 to community groups across six states, including schools, environmental groups, Landcare organisations, Rotary clubs, aged care centres, a childcare centre, a sports clubs, a Girl Guides group and a bee club.

Grant recipients have pledged to plant approximately 4,000 trees and shrubs with the involvement of nearly 1,500 community members.

Other grant recipients included Maleny State School in the Sunshine Coast region, Culgoa Development Group, The Groundswell Collective and Hawkesbury EarthCare Centre.

The Groundswell Collective, a not-for profit community organisation that delivers sustainability projects in the Lake Macquarie region, will use the grant to plant 520 trees and shrubs in a “Tiny Forest”.

Director Anna Noon said the project would support the group’s mission to reverse biodiversity loss in the Lake Macquarie area. 

“Pollinators play such an important role in keeping our local environment healthy,” Ms Noon said. “This project will provide habitat for bees and other pollinating insects which are desperately needed in the area.”

The Carman’s Trees for Bees Community Tree Grants program has been developed in collaboration between the Wheen Bee Foundation and Carman’s and offers grants of $500 to community organisations to plant pollinator-friendly trees and shrubs in their local area.

Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers said it was exciting to see so many communities keen to support bees and other pollinators.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of applicants, from rural and urban communities across the country, groups who are keenly aware of the need to work together to create much-needed habitat for bees,” Ms Chambers said.

“It’s great to support small community groups that otherwise might not have access to grant funding.”

Carman’s Chief Marketing Officer Jed Simpfendorfer said Carman’s is proud to be working with the Wheen Bee Foundation on such an important program providing benefits for bees and community groups alike.

“What I love most about this program is seeing the impact the grants will have on a wide range of community groups across the country,” Mr Simpfendorfer said. 

“From schools, Landcare groups and aged care centres to environmental organisations and sports clubs, we’re really looking forward to seeing the program come to life.”

The Hawkesbury EarthCare Centre is a meeting place for people focussed on working together for responsible stewardship of the earth. The group will use its grant to plant up to 200 pollinator-friendly trees on land at Richmond, NSW. 

Secretary (HDRAA) Amanda Argent said she was encouraged by the support for the group’s project from the Wheen Bee Foundation and Carman’s to help progress the native garden. This garden will serve as a place of beauty and as an educational resource for endemic, indigenous and other native plants.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to create a relaxing space where our local community can learn about bees and other pollinators,” Ms Argent said. “It is imperative for each of us to understand the importance of bees and other pollinators for the ongoing production of our food and ultimately our survival”.

The individual planting projects will begin in the coming weeks, with the majority of projects expected to be completed by 31 October 2023.

The next round of Community Tree Grants will open on 19 May 2024.

For the full list of recipients visit www.wheenbeefoundation.org.au/communitytreegrants

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