More than 2500 trees are being delivered to schools and early childhood centres across the Bay of Plenty thanks to a last-minute donation.

The Paper4trees programme, which gifts trees to schools that recycle cardboard and paper, was struggling to cover the cost of buying and delivering the plants.

However, Bay Trust came to the party and donated $10,000 to help with the initiative.

About 300 schools across the Bay of Plenty were set to benefit, with about 2100 trees going to Tauranga and Western Bay schools.

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Paper4trees national programme manager Satuski Takenouchi saif the trust-run recycling programme was in more than 4000 schools and preschools around New Zealand.

However, funding had been tough to find in the region surrounding its Tauranga-based head office, she said.

"We'd applied for funding all over the place because we needed to order our trees in May and we didn't think it was going to happen this year," she said.

"But Bay Trust really did swoop in and save the day."

She said the programme was developed in Tauranga more than 20 years ago, to encourage recycling among school children and get more tree planting happening in communities.

A young girl holds a gifted tree at Fern Garden Preschool. Photo / Supplied
A young girl holds a gifted tree at Fern Garden Preschool. Photo / Supplied

"And it has only become more relevant in terms of addressing issues around climate change."

Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust chairman Marty Hoffart said trees contributed to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting nature.

He said during the process of photosynthesis, trees took in carbon dioxide and produced the oxygen we breathe.

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"Trees play a key role in capturing rainwater and reducing the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides."

He said they were delivering thousands of trees this week to schools and early childhood centres.

- Supplied copy.