the plans

The Buildings & Grounds and Environment & Sustainability Committees have developed a Tree Strategy outlining a 3-year plan and rationale for future tree-planting at BEPS.

A Tree Strategy ensures that the right tree is planted in the right place creating a legacy for current and future students.

Reasons why we need to plant trees at BEPS:
  • Replace trees lost over recent years to disease, age and risk of limb drop
  • Compensate for the removal of Nicholson St trees
  • Provide sufficient shade for children
  • Create new green spaces
  • Create additional play spaces
  • Encourage biodiversity

the plan diagram         birdseye views 2010 and 2014

Stage One - 2014

Stage Two - 2015

Successful planting of the following trees:

The Tree Strategy reflects our school's values

Empathy – Having a school that values grounds that are green and rich in biodiversity, will help foster children’s lifelong empathy for the environment.

Friendship – A diversity of trees creates play opportunities to strengthen friendships. Trees provide play spaces such as nooks, opportunities for inventive game, contrasts between open and sheltered spaces, landmarks (I’ll meet you in the sheoak forest), cubby and climbing opportunities.

Creativity – Trees provide rich opportunities for discovery through open-ended play, different play spaces and inspiration through form, texture, materials, seasonal changes and biodiversity. Trees provide calm and safe space to be creative and solve problems. Green spaces provide an alternative physical and mental space to the classroom to recharge and reinvigorate.

Resilience – Trees provide spaces for reflection and solitude. Open-ended play using tree provides opportunities to build resilience through students being able to challenge themselves and peers, to explore, negotiate, and make compromises in social situations and to know and test their limits ( ie tree climbing).

Wonder – Trees are a natural wonder that the children can benefit from through the seasonal changes, textures, materials, sensory opportunities and biodiversity they attract.

Getting started on our our tree strategy

The first stage of the tree strategy has been to better understand what is possible in the school grounds. There are significant constraints such as compacted soil, maintenance requirements, need for shade and sunlight, educational benefits to the children, aesthetics, and the wear and tear that children have on plantings in the school.

BEPS is really luck to have some parents with professional expertise to assist the development of our tree strategy:

Anne-Marie Paton  –  landscape architect
Warwick Savvas  –  landscape architect
Pat Deasey  –  horticulturist
Elissa Walker  –  horticulture
Zoe Austin-Crowe  –  project management

The initial consultation has included:

  • Environment and Sustainability Committee in relation to tree selection, biodiversity and meeting the Sustainability Rating.
  • Community Events Committee in relation to the fundraising and events proposals
  • Finance Committee in relation to the fundraising proposals
  • Triciclo teachers in relation to Olisongo’s Garden tree requirements
  • Bicicletta in relation to The Agora project
  • Rodger Elliot, author of Encyclopedia of Australian Plants
  • John Fitzgibbon, owner of Metro Trees, Melbourne
  • Steve Fitzgerald, Arborist, Arboriculture
  • Merri Creek Management Committee