Hills Grammar Students & Greater Sydney Landcare Plant 3,000 Native Trees at Fairfield Hospital
The grounds of Fairfield Hospital will be greener and shadier in the future thanks to Hills Grammar students, who recently volunteered for Greater Sydney Landcare’s Creating Canopies initiative.
On Tuesday 19th September, around 80 Senior School students from Hills Grammar joined Greater Sydney Landcare to plant 3,000 native trees and shrubs on the grounds of Fairfield Hospital.
Having just finalised their yearly exams, these students were excited to trade textbooks and classrooms for work gloves, mattocks and the great outdoors for the day.
The students planted tiny tubestock that will grow into trees of at least three metres, to create shade to cool our city and provide habitat for wildlife in the years to come.
It’s a fitting metaphor – “from little things, big things grow” after all. As the seedlings they’ve planted grow upwards and outwards, and the students look towards finishing school and taking their next steps, both are poised to make an important contribution to the world around them.
This tree planting was part of the Creating Canopies project, which aims to mitigate urban heat by planting 200,000 native trees across Sydney by the end of 2025. Greater Sydney Landcare is managing Creating Canopies in conjunction with Landcare NSW, and the project is proudly funded by the NSW Government.
Fairfield Hospital General Manager Paul Crowe said he was pleased patients and visitors to the hospital are able to enjoy green space and gardens areas.
“We partnered with Landcare in 2020 to plant 1,200 trees and those are growing beautifully,” he said.
“I’m delighted the hospital can be part of this latest project to plant a further 3,000 trees, contributing to the preservation of Cumberland Plain woodland,” Mr Crowe said.
Principal Karen Yager of Hills Grammar said, “At Hills Grammar it is part of our Graduate Aim to enable our students to value their local community and act and think like global citizens and environmental stewards. Participating in the Greater Sydney Landcare Creating Canopies project is just one of the initiatives that our students enjoy.”
Danielle Packer, Creating Canopies Project Manager for Greater Sydney Landcare said:
“Greater Sydney Landcare is proud to partner with Fairfield Hospital and Hills Grammar to create canopies for the future.”
“The trees will provide so many benefits to wildlife and humans alike.”
“Increasing canopy cover will help reduce ambient temperatures and mitigate the urban heat-island effect. This is where built up areas soar to higher temperatures than surrounding green spaces.”
Department of Planning and Environment’s Executive Director of Resilience and Urban Sustainability, Steve Hartley, said it is positive to see the Hills Grammar School’s planting efforts contributing to increasing Greater Sydney’s urban canopy.
“It’s fantastic that students are rolling up their sleeves and helping create more shade, cleaner air and more beautiful places to live for communities,” Mr Hartley said.
“We’re continuing to work closely with our partners Greater Sydney Landcare and Landcare NSW to plant trees in areas of Greater Sydney that need it the most.”
Figures from the NSW Department of Planning show that an area with less canopy cover, such as Fairfield, is 8 degrees hotter than heavily vegetated areas. Data from 2019 also found that only 8.8% of the Fairfield LGA was covered by canopy cover.
“The trees planted at the Hospital will contribute to increasing canopy cover for Fairfield,” Ms Packer said.
“Fittingly, the hospital’s new trees will also provide physical and mental health benefits for people, including patients and their loved ones.”
“Studies show that in neighbourhoods with a tree canopy of 30% or more, people have lower odds of developing a range of health issues including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and psychological distress.”
“The leafy green spaces these trees provide encourage us to stay outside longer, which promotes physical activity and is great for our health. Not to mention the fact that trees reduce air and noise pollution and improve soil and water quality.”
“These 3,000 new trees will support our future in so many ways.”
“Thank you to Fairfield Hospital for providing the space and to the Hills Grammar students for putting the plants in the ground. We wish the students well in their studies and future endeavours. They can be proud knowing that their actions today will directly improve our city in the future,” said Ms Packer.
Sydneysiders can be a part of Creating Canopies by volunteering at a tree planting or benefitting from 100 or more free trees planted on their land if they have the space. Find out more at: greatersydneylandcare.org/creating-canopies-in-greater-sydney