Progress towards an aim of 40 per cent tree coverage in Ballarat has started this week in Wendouree.
Over the next few months, the City of Ballarat Parks and Gardens team will plant approximately 3000 trees in Wendouree, Wendouree West and Miners Rest. In a study undertaken by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, these areas were identified as urban hotspots due to the lack of tree cover.
Due to the unseasonably cold weather, this year the tree planting program has started ahead of schedule. Tree planting usually occurs in the winter months to accommodate for the higher rainfalls.
Tree species will include a mix of native and exotic trees and will be both evergreen and deciduous. The mix of evergreen and deciduous has been determined by the solar orientation of the streets – streets that run east to west will have deciduous trees to take advantage of solar heating in the winter months, while streets that run north to south will have evergreen trees.
The planting program is in line with the City of Ballarat’s Urban Forest Action Plan, which has set a target of 40 per cent tree cover for Ballarat by 2040.
To achieve the goal of reaching 40 per cent tree canopy, the City of Ballarat has allocated $500,000 annually over the next 10 years. This is the largest tree planting program the City has ever undertaken and will renew and enhance Ballarat’s tree canopy.
City of Ballarat Councillor, Samantha McIntosh said building a stronger tree canopy is crucial to the future of our city.
“We are committed to greening our community and expanding tree canopy in our streets, parks and public places.”
“Trees improve the liveability of our city for a multitude of reasons. They improve air quality, reduce energy costs, enhance our streetscapes and have positive effects on our health and wellbeing.”
“We’re focusing on Wendouree because that suburb currently has a six per cent rate of tree coverage.”
The tree planting program has been supported by the City of Ballarat Engaging Communities Program in Wendouree, and follows a number of recent Wendouree projects under the program at sites such as Pioneer Park, Montgomery Street Reserve and Wyndholm Reserve.