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Wollongong City Council

Poem Forest

POEM FOREST is a free nature writing prize presented by Red Room Poetry, in partnership with The Australian Botanic Garden.

Thank you to everyone who entered the POEM FOREST Prize. Entries for 2022 are now closed.

We invited students and teachers to use their words to make positive climate action. For every nature poem submitted, a tree is planted to help heal habitats and create a Poem Forest for future generations. In 2021, over 5,000 poem trees were planted.

In 2022 Wollongong City Council and Wollongong Botanic Garden are partnering with POEM FOREST to help grow Wollongong’s urban forest. Through the combined effort of the community in planting today, we can create a better tomorrow.

Poem Forest


To get involved all you have to do is write a poem and plant a tree!

This year our partnership means we can offer a special local prize for students living or attending school on Dharawal Country within the Wollongong LGA.

Wollongong Community Greening Local Prize (F–12)

Individual prize

Awarded to the best individual poem and tree planted on private property:

  • $500 cash
  • $100 book pack from Magabala Books, Pantera Press, Wonderground Journal
  • $50 voucher to spend at Wollongong Botanic Garden's Greenplan Nursery
  • Seeds from the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan
  • Judging notes and winner’s certificate
  • Highly Commended prizes in each category will also be awarded a book from Magabala Books

School prize

Awarded to the best collaborative class poem and tree planting:

  • Free school excursion / incursion for one class - up to 30 students with Wollongong Botanic Garden
  • 30 free plants from Wollongong Botanic Garden's Greenplan Nursery

To help our local schools get started with their tree planting, eligible schools in Wollongong can request 30 free plants from Wollongong Botanic Garden.

Key dates

  • Entries open: Monday 21 March 2022
  • Entries close: Friday 23 September 2022 (5pm AEST)
  • Shortlist of winners announced: Thursday 27 October
  • Winners Announcement: Thursday 17th November.

Learn more

For full details including resources, judges, terms and conditions, how to enter, and winners announcements visit Poem Forest.