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AFL stars gear up to tackle planting duties on National Tree Day

Australian Football League (AFL) players, legends and Toyota ambassadors James Hird, Jonathan Brown, Luke Hodge, Matt Maguire and Brian Taylor are swapping footy talk for tree talk in support of Toyota’s tenth year of involvement in Planet Ark’s National Tree Day this year.

Through their roles as Toyota National Tree Day Ambassadors James, Jonathan, Luke, Matt and Brian are encouraging people to roll up their sleeves to get involved in tree planting activities, particularly around sporting grounds and facilities in their local areas.

Their involvement in National Tree Day through their ongoing roles with Toyota is a natural fit, given their love of sport and the great outdoors, and their vested interest in helping to maintain a healthy environment for athletes to continue to train and achieve in.

Clocking up his sixth year of involvement with Toyota for National Tree Day, retired Essendon captain James Hird says he knows first hand how trees make a real difference to the look and feel of a training ground, benefiting players and spectators alike.

“Not only do trees suit areas around sporting facilities but they’re also a fantastic way of improving the air quality. They naturally filter out some of the pollution to create a healthier environment. Since becoming a father, I’m much more in tune with nature and prefer it when there’s a bit of greenery around. I’m really excited to be supporting Toyota and getting involved in National Tree Day once again this year,” James said.

Saints star Matt Maguire said he hoped that National Tree Day would inspire people to get involved and do their bit for the environment.

“National Tree Day provides a really great opportunity for everyone to join together and get involved for the good of their local environment. It’s great fun and so easy to participate – just stop by your local Toyota Dealer to find out what’s going on in your area,” Matt said.

In 2009 Schools Tree Day planting activities will be held nationwide on Friday 31 July and National Tree Day activities held on Sunday 2 August.

Regarded as Australia’s largest tree planting event, more than 13 million native plants and trees have been planted on National Tree Day to date, by approximately two million volunteers.

In 2009 as Toyota celebrates its 10th year of support for the event, Planet Ark along with Toyota’s National Dealer Network and loyal ambassadors hope to reach the magic milestone of planting 15 million native trees and shrubs.