As gift ideas go for a baby shower, a native forest isn’t usually at the top of your go-to list – but if one charity gets its way, it soon will be.

Kiwi native tree-planting charity, Trees That Count, has launched Trees for Kiwi Babies – a gifting registry to celebrate the birth of every Kiwi baby born in 2018.

A target has been set to see 60,000 native trees gifted – roughly the number of babies that will be born in New Zealand this year.

What is Trees for Kiwi Babies?

Trees for Kiwi Babies was launched on 21 June, to celebrate the arrival of the Prime Minister’s daughter Neve. Trees That Count are encouraging New Zealanders to donate to the Trees for Kiwi Babies registry, either for the Prime Minister’s baby or to celebrate any baby that’s special to them. Trees That Count Communications Manager Melanie Seyfort says:

Planting or donating a native tree is a lovely way to honour an event or occasion, whilst doing something meaningful for climate change.

“We have a vision that the planting or donating of a native tree becomes the Kiwi thing to do for a new baby.  Climate change really is our generation’s problem so the simple act of celebrating a new arrival with a native tree, is a gift not just to that baby, but to the next generation’s future.

We know New Zealanders love to rally for a cause, just look what happened when Kiwis crowd-funded to buy a beach in the Abel Tasman! Imagine if New Zealand celebrated the arrival of the Prime Minister’s baby by crowdfunding for a native forest.  We’d love to see international media cover that one – New Zealanders celebrate Prime Minister’s baby by planting a forest!

We’re off to a great start, with more than 1,450 trees gifted so far, but we still need more to help make this dream a reality.”

“Because this year’s planting season is already halfway through (native trees are typically only planted during winter), donations to Trees for Kiwi Babies will go towards a series of planting events during Matariki 2019.

We’ll invite new Kiwi parents and their 2018 babies to come along and plant a native tree. If the public really gets behind this we’ll be able to plant in multiple locations all around New Zealand – and we’re inviting the Prime Minister, Clarke, and then one-year old Neve along to join the fun at one of the events.”

What is Trees That Count?

Launched in 2016, Trees That Count is New Zealand’s only community marketplace connecting native tree planters with funders.

It counts the number of native trees being planted by individuals and groups all over New Zealand, and helps increase this number by encouraging donations. More than 17 million trees have been added to the count, and over 143,000 native trees donated or gifted by businesses and everyday Kiwis so far.

Our project really is about the power of generosity, a donation of a single tree at $10 is just as important as our business funders who are donating 10,000 native trees.

Trees That Count takes the donations for trees and matches them with planting groups who have applied for support from the charity.

“We’re a little like a match-making service for native trees”, laughs Melanie.  “Once we’ve made the match we let the donor know where their tree is being planted, and the planting group takes care of the rest – with grateful thanks to the generosity of the donor.

A school might want to plant 50 trees on their grounds; a community group might be restoring a local reserve with 1000 trees or a larger NGO like Conservation Volunteers might need 5000 trees for a special project. Anyone who’s added trees to the count through our website can apply to get trees from us.”

“We want to make New Zealanders realise protecting our environment is a job for us all. The beautiful thing about Trees That Count is that anyone, anywhere, can get involved.

So whether you’re a Kiwi expat sitting in a flat in London, a busy family of five who has no time to get involved with conservation but cares about the future, or a business looking to offset your carbon emissions and fund thousands of trees, we provide a platform where people can donate and ensure that their tree will go to a really good planting project.”

The charity’s mission is to see 200 million new native trees planted over the next 10 years. Native trees are a gift to our natural environment: they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and are planted to last for decades longer than radiata pines. They also encourage biodiversity, help restore waterways, and reduce soil and rainwater run-off.

In 2017, Trees That Count surpassed their goal of helping New Zealanders plant one native tree for every Kiwi, with more than nine million trees added to the count by the end of the year. Get onboard today!

Support a greener future with Trees That Count

  1. Donate a native tree for $10 to the Trees for Kiwi Babies registry here.
  2. Set up your own registry for an upcoming occasion here.
  3. Or if you’re planting native trees at home then add them to the count here – every tree matters!
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