Unley counts the value of its trees

Published on 28 May 2020

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The City of Unley has taken a significant step in its plan to manage and regain its urban forest across the City with the unanimous endorsement of its Tree Strategy.

The Tree Strategy is Council’s roadmap for keeping Unley leafy and sets out a target of a 20% increase in canopy cover by 2045; the equivalent of 14,000 new trees.

Public consultation on the Strategy received more than 140 submissions, many of which commented that Council should set higher or more ambitious targets. Unley Mayor Michael Hewitson AM was delighted with the support for the Tree Strategy, noting it highlighted the value people place on Unley’s cool, green spaces and tree canopy.

‘Trees are an essential part of our City and we want to make sure our suburbs stay cool, green and sunlit for future generations’ the Mayor said.

The Tree Strategy focuses on maintaining, managing and increasing trees on public land, and outlines our role in educating, supporting and encouraging tree retention and expansion on private land.

‘Council can’t achieve the targets with tree planting on our land alone. We need private property owners to contribute to increasing our canopy cover across the City.  The Strategy includes investigation of the use of financial measures and other incentives for existing properties to retain and increase tree canopy cover, including establishing partnerships with commercial property owners to increase tree canopy. Together we can achieve the best outcomes for future Unley generations’ Mayor Hewitson said.

The Tree Strategy is directly linked with Council’s other initiatives for Open Space and Active Ageing and also considers the requirements of Unley’s Walking and Cycling Plan in the creation of safe, green pathways across the City. Implementation of the Strategy will deliver environmental, social and economic benefits for the Unley community. Our commitment and approach to urban tree management was highlighted internationally in February 2020 as one of the first three Australian cities to earn Tree City of the World recognition. This Strategy further advances this commitment.

‘Council’s 2020/21 budget has allowed for the planting of 440 new trees, which is just the beginning of delivery of this Strategy. I am excited about the transformative opportunities this document offers our community to be part of a liveable city with the best possible streetscapes and park environments, and to prosper from the environmental and economic benefits provided by trees’ Mayor Hewitson said.

View the City of Unley Tree Strategy 

 

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