Helping keep the mums and dads cool

Deborah Sunartha from GUST and the UBPS year 4 students

A group of parents at Umina Beach Public School have raised funds to help plant shady trees along a Council nature strip where many parents wait for their children of an afternoon.

Current restrictions prevent parents from entering school grounds during pick-up time which means they must wait outside where there is limited shade.

Local mum, Kelly Sunartha, started a GoFundMe page with a few other parents who wished for more shade particularly along Melbourne Ave which gets the full force of the sun.

“There have been some really hot days lately,” Sunartha said.

“Many of us tend to huddle under one tree, closest to the gate to stay out of the scorching sun, which is not ideal for social distancing.”

Many parents and local businesses supported the initiative and donated funds, with Umina Bunnings providing some of the smaller banksias to plant.

Within a few hours of the GoFundMe page going live, the campaign had exceeded its goal with a large $1000 donation from Law Quarter helping to hit the target quickly.

The school was unable to provide funding for the initiative as the area wasn’t on school grounds but encouraged students to help with the planting and watering of the trees.

Local community group Grow Urban Shade Trees (GUST) supported the project with members volunteering their time and expertise.

With the help of year four students, GUST members planted smaller banksia trees along the nature strip and planned to plant larger trees on December 17.

GUST encouraged more students to get involved with the planting, watering, and upkeep of the trees throughout the holiday period.

Media release, Dec 14
Kelly Sunartha