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Lockdown generosity helps Trees That Count reach 500,000 milestone

Environmental charity Trees That Count passed a huge milestone this week, with over half a million native trees given by Kiwis for planting in communities around Aotearoa.


A programme of not-for-profit Project Crimson Trust which was established in 1990, Trees That Count was born in 2016 and runs the country’s first online native tree marketplace. 

The marketplace enables individuals, families and businesses to gift or fund a ‘virtual’ native tree which is then planted on their behalf by expert planters in regions across New Zealand.

Trees That Count provides the native trees free to planters who are looking to do something positive for climate change and their communities, and to date they’ve helped scale up 479 planting projects from Southland through to Northland.

Trees That Count CEO Adele Fitzpatrick says their native tree ‘gifts’ are fast becoming a new tradition for New Zealanders looking to give something meaningful and good for the environment. 

Over lockdown, the non-contact gifts became a popular and safe way for New Zealanders to reach out to loved ones and friends they were missing. 

“We’ve got no doubt that the generosity of Kiwis over lockdown has helped us reach this significant milestone just half way through 2020,” said Adele. 

“From April to June last year we had just over 300 people funding and gifting through the marketplace, this year during the same period we’ve had 2500 people funding native trees, which is nearly a 700 per cent increase.

"To have helped New Zealand plant half a million more native trees is a massive achievement for our environment, and for all of our supporters."

Trees That Count says while lockdown posed enormous challenges for New Zealanders that are still being felt today, one benefit has been the increased focus on the wildlife and beauty of our own backyard.

“There’s something to be said for all of us spending time in this beautiful country and appreciating what we have,” said Adele.

“I think we’ve realised more than ever that it’s important to invest in our people, our environment and our communities to emerge from COVID-19 in a strong position.”