Tree Levy grants schools green space

The Tree Levy is an annual grants scheme funded by Federation that aims to offset the environmental impact of the union’s activities via a notional levy on the paper used by the union.

This provides funding for the purchase of native trees and native shrubs for planting in public school grounds. The Tree Levy helps the environment, improves our public schools and positively promotes the union in the local community.

Schools are invited each year to submit an application for a grant of up to $500 to purchase native trees and woody shrubs.

All criteria and requirements are included in the 2018 application form, available on Federation’s website at A detailed written quote from a plant nursery listing the specific native plants and their cost must be included with the application. It is also a requirement that the Federation Representative or Federation Workplace Committee member attend the local Teachers Association meeting in Term 2 to have the school’s application endorsed. Tree Levy applications that do not have a completed Association endorsement page will not be funded.

Schools funded previously are usually not eligible for a Tree Levy grant.

How are schools notified about the success of their Tree Levy grant application?

A Federation Tree Levy committee meets prior to August Council to consider each application and makes recommendations to the General Secretary. Successful schools are sent an email and receive the grant by early Term 4, along with a certificate presented to the Federation Representative at the local Association meeting.

Do schools need to promote the Federation Tree Levy grant?

Yes. As a condition of accepting a Tree Levy grant, the school is required to inform their community about the environmental grant provided by the Federation. Schools must describe carefully in their application how they will promote the grant project and Federation’s contribution. Ideas include:

  • media release to local newspapers about your school receiving the grant
  • regular updates on the project in the school newsletter
  • a street sign acknowledging the NSW Teachers Federation
  • the Tree Levy certificate displayed in the foyer
  • a plaque unveiled in the school grounds with local MPs invited to the opening
  • a Federation Organiser invited to present the grant at a school assembly, with parents in attendance
  • a rolling digital photo display of the planting process, exhibited in the school’s foyer
  • article on the school’s website
  • posts to Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

Can the application include tools, non-native plants, transport costs or other gardening products?

No. The Tree Levy grant provides funds to a school, and can only be used, for the sole purpose of purchasing native trees and woody shrubs. Funding is not provided for any other purpose.