Trees are important for many reasons. Not only do they make our streets more attractive, they also provide shade, cooling, and homes for birds and wildlife. As our city gets hotter with the urban heat island effect, trees play a vital role in cooling down the city by providing shade to properties and streets.
We are responsible for trees in streets, on nature strips, and in more than 170 parks and reserves in Merri-bek.
Our vision is to transform Merri-bek into a municipality with healthy trees and vegetation are a core part of our urban environment.
The Urban Forest Strategy aims to double tree canopy cover across Council land by 2030 and increase tree canopy cover across Merri-bek to 29% by 2050.
Protecting our tree and vegetation cover is important for many reasons, to:
- provide shade and wind protection
- provide relief from the urban heat island effect
- contribute to local biodiversity and provide a home for birds and wildlife, and
- improve the attractiveness, sense of place, and landscape of Merri-bek’s suburbs.
We know that Merri-bek’s urban forest provides critical ecosystem services such as:
- air and water filtration
- carbon sequestration and
- nutrient cycling
The urban forest also provides a connection to nature that is often missing in urban areas.
As housing lots, private open space and greening continue to decline across Merri-bek, having a more robust, resilient urban forest will provide essential ‘breathing spaces’ in our urban environment.
The Urban Forest Strategy includes key actions to:
- Improve both the health and successful establishment of public trees
- Continue to plant canopy trees in our streets and parks to fill vacant sites, create new sites such as in-road plantings, and replace under-performing trees
- Improve tree health and cooling by integrating water-sensitive urban design, and
- Protect existing trees through improved planning and enforcement measures.
You can find out about current and upcoming tree work on our Tree work program schedule page.