One Tree Per Child Onkaparinga

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Plant a tree or shrub at your home, business or school - it's as easy as one, two, tree!

On Earth Day we launched a brand new partnership to encourage the community to get outdoors in the cooler months and plant a tree - lets plant One Tree Per Child in Onkaparinga.

Urban heat and canopy mapping shows that we have areas across our region that contain little natural shade for cooling or habitat for native critters.  With a massive 74 per cent of Onkaparinga being privately owned land (that council has no control over), you can see why it's so important that we encourage everyone to get planting!

As part of the partnership, each year we'll hold a community tree giveaway - the 2024 event was held on 2 June at Seaford Community Centre with over 1000 trees provided to residents.  If you missed out don't panic - you can still check out the information provided below to help choose the best tree for your garden and view the video for tips on how to plant it for success!

After planting, snap a photo and mark your spot on our interactive map as we watch the region grow greener together!

What is One Tree Per Child Onkaparinga?

One Tree Per Child, a not-for-profit founded by Olivia Newton-John and Jon Dee, aims to inspire every child to plant at least one tree before they finish school. They've already made a big impact, with hundreds of thousands of trees planted across 10 countries! We’re thrilled to be the first SA council to partner with One Tree Per Child, Green Adelaide, Arborgreen, and Trees For Life in order to bring the One Tree Per Child Onkaparinga campaign to our community.

What species should I grow?

Aim for diversity. The more different size and type of trees and shrubs you plant the better. Nature thrives on diversity and diverse gardens are happy gardens.  

Local native trees and shrubs are a great low maintenance option for your garden. Adelaide’s native trees have adapted to survive our hot summers and wet winters – and generally need minimal TLC.

Adelaide’s local natives are Australian trees that are native to this area. They are native trees suitable for and found in Adelaide’s environment.  If you’re thinking a different species – originating elsewhere in Australia, or overseas – just make sure they aren’t considered a weed in South Australia.  

Check out SA’s declared pest plants, and get to know our emerging weeds by looking at the ‘what not to plant' sections of the Green Adelaide coastal and Adelaide gardens planting guides.

Declared and environmental weeds pose a major threat to the health of our natural environment. You can also use the Plant Selector+ tool to help your choose the right trees and shrubs for the right places in your school or yard.

For ideas of small, medium and large tree species you can discover a few species here.  You'll see some of the same species in the trees that we plant in your streetscapes and reserves.  

Find out what to plant to create habitat for this years focus native animal, the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo here.

Top tips for planting your tree

Help your new tree start it's life right and give it the best chance of survival by following these easy steps.....  

Where can I buy native trees and shrubs? 

You can visit your local gardening shop for a browse of different trees species. For local native trees and shrubs, the best bet is to visit a native plant grower/nursery.

How can schools take part?

Early Learning Centres and Schools can apply for free trees as part of an annual program but first need to be part of Green Adelaide's Sustainable Schools program. The southern education team can then provide expert species advice, help with your planting event and a combined education offering that is linked to the curriculum for the very best outcomes. This year the team had 400 trees and shrubs available which were offered to the 30+ Onkaparinga based schools in the program and the allocation has been met - the successful schools will be notified soon and planting will occur in the coming months. 

Why is it so important?

South Australia has some great areas of natural bush which are home to our own unique plants and animals. But as our cities have grown, these spaces are increasingly being developed, reducing vegetation cover and pushing our wildlife into smaller areas.

Key areas of protected vegetation are fragmented and often cut off from one another. Private landholders including home gardens and schools can help to expand these areas by planting local native plants which serve as stepping stones within the landscape and contribute to much-needed habitat.

It’s important to note that revegetation and habitat creation are not only available to those who own or manage large areas of land which can sometimes be a misconception. Home gardens, schools and community spaces can all contribute to creating habitat, improving biodiversity and supporting wildlife individually and by connecting to larger habitat corridors already established across the landscape. 

Creating and contributing to habitat corridors supports the movement of species to access resources and contributes to the resilience of the landscape. You don’t need a big area to make an impact locally, you can plant one or two local native tree(s) in your garden along with some good native understory shrubs, grasses and ground cover species which can all help provide food and shelter to wildlife and contribute to the overall revegetation of your local area.

While having protected and well-managed larger areas of habitat is critical, there is no need to rely solely on existing protected areas or to leave it to landholders with larger properties to safeguard our biodiversity. We can all play a part.

When multiple home gardens on a street make this commitment, they create a larger connected area between themselves. When schools approach their landscaping with habitat in mind, land that is typically under-utilised becomes full of life. In both cases, families and students learn the value of our local native plants and wildlife, of tending to something with care and patience and the importance of diversity in sustaining a balanced environment.

Imagine the impact if every home, school and community/ public space was thriving with a diverse range of native species. What would it mean for our local wildlife, for our environment and for ourselves.

Learn more about our partner organisations

Our partners are key to ensuring the success of One Tree Per Child Onkaparinga.  Find out a little about each of the partner organisations below.


One Tree Per Child

One Tree Per Child wants every child to plant a tree.  One Tree Per Child was founded by Olivia Newton-John and Jon Dee. It’s a not-for-profit Australian initiative that’s planted trees in 10 countries. High profile ambassadors and supporters for One Tree Per Child have included Kevin McCloud from Grand Designs, Costa Georgiadis and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage.




Trees For Life is one of South Australia’s oldest and most loved not-for-profit environmental organisations. Every year they train and work with thousands of dedicated volunteers, along with their project staff, to deliver on-ground conservation and revegetation programs across South Australia.




Arborgreen is an Australian, family-owned and run business. They sell products and materials for tree establishment and care. If the right product doesn’t exist, they will invent it!  They are passionate about educating our youth in working towards a greener future.




Green Adelaide are South Australia's first government urban environmental organisation. Their work is unique as it delivers environmental outcomes amidst urbanisation, and embeds Kaurna traditional practices in delivery.  Their area of responsibility spans across Adelaide’s 17 metropolitan councils and includes about a third of Gulf St Vincent.

Green Adelaide's southern education team are hosted within the City of Onkaparinga's Environmental Sustainability team.


Why is council getting involved?

The council is taking action to address the threat to Onkaparinga's tree canopy, particularly on private land, which makes up 74 per cent of our region. We're encouraging the community to plant trees on their own land to complement the council’s goal of planting 100,000 trees on public land by 2037. 

Each year we’ll have a different theme. This year, we're focusing on the importance of providing habitat for the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo, a vulnerable species identified in the Ecological Linkage Study.

Keep up to date

For the most up to date information on this project follow Sustainable Onkaparinga on Facebook or keep an eye on our website and publications.

To speak to someone about One Tree Per Child Onkaparinga contact Tracy Fulton, Environmental Sustainability Officer via email or 8384 0666.