I was delighted to be involved in a community tree planting event held over the weekend; a sentiment I’m sure was shared by my fellow volunteers. It was part of an event which Jack in the box, in partnership with GeoCatch, had been planning for months, and involved the sourcing and coordination of seven local sponsors to fund the supply of the trees and site preparation. I was actively involved in the planning and promotion of the event, and was so pleased to see it come together without a hitch.

The idea for the event first came from Jack in the box’s desire to volunteer some man power for local tree planting as part of our ‘eco’ educational and awareness program (see www.eco.thebox.com.au). However, we felt that simply volunteering some time wasn’t enough – we wanted others to know about what we were doing, and to do the same themselves. Therefore the idea was put to GeoCatch for a tree planting event fully funded by a group of local businesses, who each purchased a proportion of trees and received a number of branding opportunities in return (which required some of Jack in the box’s trademark innovative thinking). GeoCatch loved the idea, and we all set to work in collecting support and ordering the trees.

The task of sourcing supporting businesses was more than successful, with those who signed up including Harley Survey Group, Challenge Dairy, Doral Mineral Sands, Shore Landscapes, Shire of Busselton, Globe Signs, and Juice Print.

Challenge Dairy leveraged their sponsorship by providing a morning tea of cheese, crackers and yoghurts, which was much appreciated by the hungry volunteer troops. Globe Signs supplied, printed and installed a sign displayed at the planting site, and Juice Print supplied and printed 50 volunteer t-shirts with all sponsor logos on the back. All volunteers were delighted to wear the bright orange shirts, and were something special to take away from the event. Over 60 volunteers attended on the day, which could not have been achieved without significant editorial coverage in the Busselton Dunsborough Times.

The planting was not only well organised and coordinated by the very professional team from GeoCatch, but it really was great fun. Even my partner Chris, who I dragged along for moral support, enjoyed himself (but you wouldn’t catch him admitting it!) Personally, the event was very fulfilling and I feel a better person for it.

Not only was the event a great way to give back to the environment, but it’s a lesson in how to create impact and local support for an initiative with limited resources. The event’s success relied solely on people power, through networking, negotiation and word of mouth. It also involved some innovative thinking and flexibility in making the event worthwhile for sponsors.

Thankyou to everyone who came on the day, and to GeoCatch for being such an excellent project partner.

If you’d like to volunteer for any further tree planting events, please contact GeoCatch on 9781 0111.

Check out some pictures of the event by visiting our eco website.