Urban forest grows

Article image - Urban forest grows Treasury Wine Estates corporate volunteers on site in the grounds of The Rex tending to the new plantings adjacent the native pine woodland.

A collaborative community effort to put more local plants in the ground is transforming the Barossa Valley, South Australia’s, Tanunda East landscape into an ‘urban forest’.

Corporate volunteers from Treasury Wine Estates are the latest participants in the revegetation effort, contributing over 100 volunteer hours to help the Tanunda Woodlands Group extend the vegetation buffers around the Barossa Aquatic and Fitness, The Rex.

Coordinated by Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges and supported by Barossa Council, the Urban Forest project is bringing together groups, schools, landholders and organisations to address local climate and biodiversity issues.

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Education officer, Chris Hall, said urban forests create an overall cooling effect in that locality.

“An urban forest is simply the sum of all woody plants, especially trees, growing in and around a town or city.

“Since The Barossa Council created the first urban forest map of Tanunda East in 2017, three on-ground buffer plantings have taken place at The Rex, Faith Lutheran College along Magnolia Road and at Tanunda Primary School.

“It is empowering to have multiple groups and schools working towards a common landscape-scale goal across a number of properties; plus the climate benefits are being introduced into curriculum at both schools in coming months.”

Chris hopes the example in Tanunda will inspire community-led initiatives in other localities.

“Now that we have a Tanunda template, imagine the potential for students and community to develop urban forest maps within other Barossa towns.”