The Promise Tree is the story of using art as a medium to create a sense of both personal and shared responsibility for environmental action. This project is inspired by the range of environmental datasets that are available for native flora in South Australia, and is scalable to the national level.
Launched on World Environment Day each year on the 5th of June, Promise Trees would be displayed in a busy public locations where they become the focal point for personal pledges of environmental action. Those pledges might include taking home a seedling of an indigenous tree to plant, becoming a volunteer grower for Trees for Life, signing up to volunteer for a local environment group, or making a donation to an environmental charity. As each person makes their pledge, they pin a leaf with their first name on the Promise Tree, and take a card with the details of their pledge and the link to a website that will enable them to turn their promise into action.
Promise Trees would be on display annually for 8 weeks in each Natural Resource Management region, until National Tree Day on the 30th of July. Kits would also be made available for primary schools to participate and create their own Promise Tree, with associated activities supported by local environmental groups, giving school kids the opportunity to grow and plant their own trees, and contribute to projects like creating wildlife corridors between patches of bushland.
The website that supports the Promise Tree will provide links to local environment groups, indigenous plant nurseries or State Flora, and other information on how to make personal pledges happen.
The Promise Tree is about reminding ourselves that no matter where we live, every person has a role to play. Just like the thousands of leaves on a tree, or the hundreds of trees that make up a forest, the actions of many people together can make a huge difference to our natural environment.