Project Update - Strategy now endorsed

Council endorsed the Tree Canopy Improvement Strategy 2021 - 2045 at its 8 November 2021 Council Meeting and we will now focus on working with our stakeholders and community to implement this exciting strategy:

Growing Green: our plan for a greener, cooler city.

Our Vision: The City of Charles Sturt has an extensive, healthy, diverse and sustainable urban forest which grows to reach a City-wide canopy target of 25% by 2045.

This strategy generates a new mandate for tree planting, tree protection and resourcing directed to trees to improve the amount of tree canopy city wide for the benefit of our community and environment in the face of a changing climate.

Endorsement of this strategy follows a journey:

  1. The journey started when the draft strategy was first introduced and scene set back in June 2021 (view Agenda of the Asset Management Committee Meeting held on 21 June 2021).
  2. The draft strategy was then endorsed by Council for community consultation and a deputation was heard in support of the draft strategy on 28 June 2021 (view Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 28 June 2021).
  3. Community consultation on the draft strategy then followed between July and September 2021 during this time the strategy received thousands of views and 332 community responses (view Community Engagement Summary Report).
  4. Following review of community feedback, the final Tree Canopy Improvement Strategy 2021 - 2045 was endorsed by Council at its meeting on 8 November 2021 (view Agenda of Council Meeting held on 8 November 2021).

Thank you to everyone in our community who provided comment on the draft Tree Canopy Improvement Strategy 2021 – 2045 during July, August and September 2021.

'Thank You' to our Tree Champions

Thank you to many in our community who are already "Growing Green Champions" and the 80 new people in our community who are interested in becoming a Charles Sturt Tree Champion. We will be back in touch with you in 2022 to look at ways we can work together.

If you would like to become a Tree Champion - register here.

Community feedback - how you helped develop this strategy

Between July and September 2021 we raised awareness and invited community feedback to help shape our strategy. Here is a summary of what we found.

What did we change in response?

A range of points were noted in the community feedback, with strong sentiment for the following:

  • The need for, and importance of, such a strategy.
  • The urgency to plant more trees in the face of wide-spread tree loss from development.
  • The need for appropriate species selection and species diversity.
  • The multiple benefits of trees including their aesthetic quality, shade and cooling, habitat for birds and other ecosystem services.
  • The change to the urban form from infill and other forms of development and associated tree loss.
  • The need for improved legislative protection of trees and incentivisation of tree retention on private land.

In consideration of this feedback, a number of refinements to the draft strategy were made including:

  • Placing greater emphasis on, and priority to, a number of actions within the strategy.
  • Broader consideration of community education about:
    • the planning system
    • trees species selection
    • Council's tree planting policies and practices.
  • Methods for the community to be involved in tree planting on public land.

What ideas do you have?

How can we raise the profile of trees and encourage positive action?