About the Project

We’ve developed our very first Urban Forest Strategy!

An urban forest is all of the trees and other vegetation in our urban areas. This includes street and park trees but also trees and vegetation in backyards, along waterways, in industrial areas and in conservation areas.

Our townships have an average of 30 per cent urban forest cover (trees and shrubs) on public land, but only 21 per cent on private land. Research shows that 40 per cent is considered optimal.

This Strategy will plan how we will continue to grow and look after our urban forest. So, while we will focus on protecting our existing vegetation cover and improving connectivity by planting along streets and in parks, our private land (residential gardens and commercial precincts) also plays a critical role in nurturing our urban forests. Everyone can help grow our urban forest and enjoy the many benefits trees and shrubs provide.

The Strategy was developed using a range of stakeholder consultation and will drive improvements to help ensure we grow a healthy, green and resilient urban forest that is well managed, protected and provides maximum benefits to our community.

The Urban Forest Strategy was adopted by Council at its May 2023 meeting.

Our Community Engagement findings

Our community

  • want more trees planted across Bass Coast townships, predominantly in new developments, in parks, on nature strips, around sports grounds and along main shopping strips
  • support Council investing in more public street and park trees
  • recognise the importance of trees on private property
  • think Council should require greater regulatory protection over them and would support Council developing incentives for tree protection and planting on private property

Our Strategy sets the framework for Council, developers and our community to:

  • PROTECT our urban forest
  • GROW our urban forest
  • EMPOWER our community and other land holders to protect and grow the urban forest on their land
  • EMBED best practice urban forest principles into our everyday work.

By prioritising our investment towards the most beneficial and equitable outcomes while collaborating with our community, developers and service providers we will also achieve two key targets by 2040:

  • No net loss of vegetation on private residential land and
  • Urban forest cover will increase to an average of 40% across public land in our townships

Feedback was used to inform the final Urban Forest Strategy