Planting the Seed

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can do your Planting the Seed program?

Our Planting the Seed program is suitable for primary and secondary schools in Victoria. Although schools are our primary focus, we can also offer our program to ‘Friends of’ groups, Scouts groups and other interested community groups.

Where does your program run?    

We run our Planting the Seed program throughout Victoria. 

How many students can take part in the program?

As many students as you wish.  We limit numbers to 25 students during site visits, for safety reasons.  We are happy to work with different classes and/or grades for each site visit. 

Schools may also wish to have a whole “school planting day” with students, teachers and parents getting involved. 

What is involved?

The program includes four visits to the revegetation site (1.5 hours maximum for each visit, excluding travel) to:

  • prepare the site for planting
  • collect seed/cuttings
  • maintain the site (eg. weeding)
  • monitor the site post-revegetation

Students will also require time to propagate their seedlings (usually in class, 1.5 hours maximum) and take care of their propagated seedlings, either in class or at home.  

How long does the PtS program run for?

The Planting the Seed program is designed to run until your site is fully revegetated. This can take a number of years. However, most of the planting and weeding happen in the first few years, with less effort required as the plants grow bigger.

The best time of year to commence our PtS program is Spring.  This allows for seed collection in Spring/Summer and then an Autumn planting.  Monitoring then occurs in Spring after planting.  That said, an earlier or later start can allow more time for any site preparation that needs to occur prior to planting, and time for fundraising if required. 

Where are your revegetation sites?

Ideally, your revegetation site will be located either on your school grounds, or within walking distance of your school.  Sites can also potentially be located on nearby public land, with landowner and land manager approval. 

How much does it cost?

The cost of each program differs depending on the location of the site and the number of plantings.  Some general costs are listed below:

  • Tubestock plants: $2.50-$4.00 each
  • Biodegradable tree guards (hessian or biodegradable plastic) and wooden/bamboo stakes: $1.80-$3.20
  • Propagating mix: $13 per bag
  • PPE: $10-12 per student         

We are working towards providing a resource pack that will guide teachers through the revegetation process at their site. In the meantime, ERA can tailor a project to your budget – please get in touch with us.

How can I fund my school’s Planting the Seed program?

If required, schools can fund their PtS activities through school fundraising.  We find that local suppliers are often willing to donate equipment and materials as well.

Do I require a permit to collect native plant seeds and cuttings?

ERA has permits in place for collecting native seed. Please see here for the rules around collecting native seeds and cuttings.

What about weed management?

Our Planting the Seed program includes hand weeding by students only.  Students are not allowed to use chemicals to control weeds.  Any chemical weed control is usually carried out by the land manager prior to planting, often as part of their normal land management activities. 

What is “citizen science”?

“Citizen science” is where the community get to participate in scientific research. With our Planting the Seed program, participants will be provided with simple to use digital tools to collect data from their site once planted (eg. seedling survival, rate of seedling growth). This data can then be used to see what’s working and what’s not at your site (eg. some plants may not grow as well as others), and to help manage the site into the future.

What will my students learn when they take part in the PtS program?

Our project will give students hands-on experience of the revegetation process, from seed collection to post-revegetation monitoring, with a number of site visits to carry out these activities. They will undertake plant propagation and grow and care for their seedlings in their classroom/school greenhouse. Students will be able to monitor the progress and success of revegetation efforts (eg. species and number of specimens planted; planting and germination of seeds; flowering times; seedling survival, wildlife presence) through post-revegetation site visits to collect monitoring data.

At a broader level, we hope that this experience will encourage students to value and admire our natural environments and Aboriginal cultural heritage beyond the life of the project. We anticipate that students will spread the knowledge gained from this project to parents, families, teachers and their networks.

How does this program relate to the Victorian Schools Curriculum?

PtS activities link with the Victorian curriculum educational outcomes related to:

  • the importance of healthy and sustainable ecological systems
  • the causes of land degradation and appropriate management strategies
  • creative interventions that promote connections to community and natural environments actions needed to ensure the future sustainability of ecological systems.