Tree canopy a community asset

Article image - Tree canopy a community asset Shepparton Deputy Mayor Kim O’Keefe launches the strategy with the help of some young local residents.

Greater Shepparton City Council in regional Victoria has launched its Urban Forest Strategy to create a greener, shadier city and provide the right trees in the right location.

The strategy was launched on 29 June in the Friars Café car park in Fryers Street, Shepparton.

Greater Shepparton City Council Acting Director Infrastructure Michael Freeman said the benefits of a well-planned Urban Forest spread across the whole community.

“More canopy cover from trees can assist with the reduction of your energy costs and can increase the value of your house,” Mr Freeman said.

“People spend more time in shopping areas that are well treed and landscaped which benefits retail businesses.

“A well treed streetscape also looks better and importantly can reduce the impact of radiant heat during heatwaves.

“Having cooler shadier streets in summer also encourages people to get out and about more, which is good for your physical and mental health.

“There are other environmental benefits as well; it reduces the impact of stormwater flows and provides a green corridor and habitat for native wildlife.”

The launch is the culmination of several years of research to design and develop a Strategy relevant to the Greater Shepparton region.
The Strategy was endorsed at an Ordinary Council Meeting in April and has a long-term implementation plan.

The council hopes to double its green canopy cover by 2037.
“In 10 to 15 years we will see the benefit for the whole community from this Strategy,” Mr Freeman said.

“The Strategy starts with Shepparton, Mooroopna and Tatura but may be rolled out to small towns in the future as part of the Community Plan process.

“Trees are one of our highest valued assets yet the value of trees to the wellbeing of our community is not often thought about.”