urban forest strategy
Trees are an integral part of our urban landscape and are the heavy lifters of urban infrastructure - being one of the most important pieces impacting upon liveability. Trees reduce temperatures, filter particulates, reduce storm water run off, protect homes from wind gusts, provide habitat for wildlife and so much more. They represent a large financial cost to the Town, however until recently the benefits have been not been measured or communicated in great detail. This Urban Forest Strategy is a document for communicating the costs and benefits of trees within the Town and outlines a plan to achieve targets.
The Victoria Park Collective and The Victoria Park Urban Tree Network have been engaged through a tender process by The Town of Victoria Park to write an Urban Forest Strategy which seeks to better manage the Town's trees on both public and private land with the aim of achieving a tree canopy target of 20%. The process of developing this strategy has been under taken using an asset based community process in a volunteer framework and involved considerable community consultation consisting of 5 workshops, audio recordings, interviews, photographic recordings and many more.
Currently the tree canopy sits at around 10% and is falling. There are several causes of decline and a multi-faceted approach with a wide range of stakeholders has been outlined within the draft to achieve this target. Both the Vic Park Collective and the Victoria Park Urban Tree Network look forward to receiving your feedback.
This strategy was written by 100% volunteers from a wide range of professions, no volunteers were paid to produce this work. The Town of Victoria Park has provided a grant of $20,000, paid upon completing milestones to pay for the delivery and interpretation of the community engagement workshops, to advertise the process, conduct research, deliver online content, document, meet, consult and collaborate with stakeholders and write the strategy and associated documents. The Town has provided access to staff, primarily the Parks team and also paid for advertisements in the Southern Gazette.
We kicked off the strategy process by gathering a few experts on trees for a Collective Conversations community event to talk about Trees in the 'hood. Check out our blog post about everything we learned that night.
This was followed by community consultation workshops held in October and November 2017.
The Urban Forest Strategy was endorsed by the Town of Victoria Park in September 2018. You can view the strategy here.