New initiative provides a tree for every baby born at Sutherland Hospital

Amy Pyett and Rick Sillan left Sutherland Hospital maternity unit holding a piece of paper that will enable them to mark the birth of their baby Oskar in a special way.

The couple were given a voucher for a free 200mm pot sized tree from Sutherland Shire Council's community plant nursery at Gymea.

They were among the first recipients under a new joint initiative of the council and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.

The voucher has been added to the "bounty bag", which has traditionally been given to parents on discharge from the hospital's maternity unit.

The initiative has overtones of the jacaranda tree seeds that Sister Irene Haxton used to give to mothers at her Jacaranda Private Hospital in Woolooware.

The practice led to an amazing proliferation of jacaranda trees in the shire.

Hospital general manager Vicki Weeden said, "We are delighted to be a part of this wonderful initiative to provide our new parents with a thoughtful gift that is also going to ensure our local area remains a beautiful, leafy and environmentally sustainable area for generations to come".

Mayor Carmelo Pesce said the initiative would complement the council's efforts to enhance the shire's tree canopy through the Green Streets Program, which has seen more than 13,000 new street trees planted since 2014.

"We all appreciate the importance of preserving our beautiful natural environment for future generations, so what a great way to make a small but tangible contribution for the next generation of your family," he said.

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