With school camps and excursions cancelled, restrictions on playing in the yard and the uncertainty of COVID times, pupils at Buninyong Primary School were itching to get their hands dirty on an activity they could still take part in - tree planting day.
Although the official Planet Ark school tree planting day was cancelled, the school decided to go ahead and plant more than 400 trees and plants around their school.
Last year a massive cypress tree that has stood outside the school for more than 100 years had to be chopped down for safety reasons, and pupils were keen to start nurturing a new tree for generations to come.
"Recently we had a huge cypress tree pulled down ... so in the forefront of the kids' minds was that sometimes old trees die so we have to make sure we put a new tree in so in 100 years there's still kids running around it," said Buninyong Primary teacher Claire Morris.
Ballarat City Council donated hundreds of plants and personnel to help children get them in the ground, and Friends of Buninyong Botanic Gardens also contributed with plants and volunteers.
While most of the trees were planted on school grounds, some were installed on the council roundabout outside the school and others on the nature strip.
Grade four classes came out one by one to plant their allocation of greenery.
"Because of coronavirus we can't cross classes over so we had to have one class at a time," Ms Morris said.
The school's Scotsburn Primary campus also got in on the green action, planting 200 trees on Monday.
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"Our main message is about looking after our environment and what we can do to make it better ... what on a ground level can we do that kids can get involved with and see the results of what they are doing.
"They can see the trees grow."
Ms Morris said after two terms of cancelled camps, excursions and restricted playtimes the pupils were happy to focus on something positive to make their school better.
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