Shady locals wanted: Help plant Cockburn’s urban forest

The City of Cockburn aims to increase its street tree tally by 15,000 over the next decade, taking it to more than 53,000, and tree-loving locals can help make it happen.

As part of the City’s Urban Forest Plan 2018-2028, locals are encouraged to do their bit by requesting a free street tree to help increase their local shade canopy.

The City has $300,000 budgeted for its annual streetscape and street tree programs for 2018-2019 as just one way of achieving a thriving urban forest in Cockburn.

Recent modelling of Cockburn’s 142sq km total land area revealed current vegetation cover including trees and shrubs is just 26 per cent, but the addition of 15,000 trees in the next decade will help compensate for future tree loss.

Cockburn’s Parks and Environment Manager, Anton Lees, said current vegetation cover under the City’s control showed 11 per cent was along streets and roads, 59 per cent in environmental reserves and 29 per cent at parks and sporting ovals.

“During the past decade the City of Cockburn has experienced rapid clearing of vegetation due to urban development,” Mr Lees said.

“In a recent national survey on the state of vegetation cover in metropolitan Australia, Cockburn was ranked in the lowest quartile of the 140 local authorities studied for the degree to which they had lost shade canopy.

“The City must improve its shade canopy and the Urban Forest Plan will help balance urban expansion with a comprehensive urban forest program to maintain and protect the existing tree canopy, while expanding it in the future.

“The plan identifies six strategic objectives and targets, accompanied by 30 actions to map a clear pathway to achieving the City’s aspirations for a thriving urban forest.

“One of the main ways we will achieve the plan’s vision is to appoint an Urban Forest Officer to guide the expansion of the City’s tree planting program, monitoring and recording goal progression, strengthening development controls to increase tree canopy levels and promoting resilience through increasing tree diversity.

"A thriving urban forest has a multitude of benefits including lowering maximum summer temperatures in urban areas, reducing household energy costs (up to 8 per cent) and according to University of WA research, increasing property values by up to $17,000.”

  • The total street tree value in the City of Cockburn is $137.5 million
  • The dominant street tree species in the City of Cockburn is the WA Peppermint
Read the City of Cockburn Urban Forest Plan 2018-2028 here.
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