The Tree Levy - Grants to schools for native trees and shrubs

Tree Levy information is provided annually to school Federation Representatives by email in term 1.

The Tree Levy information and requirements are revised annually. Please read the full 2020 application authorisation form when applying for a grant. 

For further information, please email with the phrase "Tree Levy" in the subject line.


What is the Tree Levy?

The NSW Teachers Federation funds an annual grants scheme called the Tree Levy. The scheme aims to offset the environmental impact of the union's activities via a notional levy on the paper used by Federation. This provides funding for the purchase of native trees and woody 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 $600 to purchase native trees and woody shrubs of sufficient longevity, height, and shade, with sound prospects for successful establishment in the conditions and locations proposed. Only the cost of sustainable native plants listed in the quote will be funded.

How do schools apply for a Tree Levy grant?

School Federation Representives are informed by email in term 1 that the Tree Levy applications are open for a limited period of time. Fed Reps are responsible for ensuring that their primary email address held by Federation is correct.

Schools applying for grants in previous years have reported to the Federation that they found the following website helpful to identify native species suitable for their school site and conditions:

What are the requirements?

Each application must include:

  • A detailed written quote from a plant nursery, listing the specific native plants and their costs. Contact details for the plant nursery must be included
  • A detailed project plan, including annotated site map
  • Details of community, teacher and student involvement in the project
  • Details of planned promotion of the project and NSW Teachers Federation grant
  • Endorsement by the local association of the NSW Teachers Federation.

Details of all criteria and requirements are included in the 2020 application authorisation form.

Association meeting dates can be found in the Federation website calendar. 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. 

When can schools apply?

Applications open in term 2. Information will be published in Federation's journal Education, and Fed Reps will also be notified by email when applications are open.

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

A Federation Tree Levy Committee meets after August Council to consider each application and makes recommendations to the General Secretary. Successful schools are emailed and receive the grant by early term 4, along with a certificate presented to the Federation Representative at the local Teachers 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 NSW Teachers Federation. Schools must describe carefully in their application how they will promote the grant project and Federation's contribution. Promotional ideas include:

  • media release to local newspapers about your school receiving the grant
  • regular updates on the project in the school newsletter
  • street signboard acknowledging the NSW Teachers Federation
  • Tree Levy certificate displayed in the foyer
  • a plaque unveiled in the school grounds with local MPs invited to the opening
  • 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 for, and can only be used for, the sole purpose of purchasing native trees and native shrubs. Funding is not provided for any other purpose.

Further information?

For further information please contact the Federation on (02) 9217 2100 or email with the phrase "Tree Levy" in the subject line.

**Applications closed**

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