Planting 500,000 more trees in the next five years and increasing the percentage of “green” coverage in the City of Whittlesea by 2040 are some of the goals of Council’s new Greening Whittlesea – City Forest Strategy.
The strategy sets out plans for the protection, growth and management of the City’s trees and green cover as part of Council’s commitment to the Whittlesea 2040 community goals of sustainable environment, liveable neighbourhoods and connected communities.
Administrator Peita Duncan said the strategy was a first of the City of Whittlesea.
“Ensuring enough trees and green cover is essential to ensuring the liveability of the City of Whittlesea. Many people have chosen to live here because they value the natural environment but there are many more reasons why a greener City is important,” she said.
A greener City of Whittlesea would deliver a range of benefits for residents, fauna and the wider environment by providing shade, cooling and air cleaning.
“More green cover will also help clean and slow stormwater flows, prevent erosion and provide habitat and food for our local fauna as well as enhancing the liveability of our neighbourhoods by offering inviting places for residents to get active, connect with nature and connect each other,” Ms Duncan said.
In developing the strategy, Council engaged with the community, industry, academics and local business to better understand their needs and hopes.
“We would like to thank everyone who got involved in the development of this ambitious strategy. We are confident that the clear targets, timelines and measures that have been set from now until 2040 make it a practical and achievable plan,” Ms Duncan said.
Council is aiming a 20 per cent increase on the City’s existing green cover by 2040, starting in neighbourhoods that would achieve the biggest impact on heat islands, hot spots and liveability.
Council plans to have 500,000 new trees planted on Council-owned land within the next five years. Alongside shade and cooling considerations, species diversity and the inclusion of indigenous plants will also be top of mind when selecting plants.