Sunlight shining through tree leaves
HEAT REDUCERS: Planting more trees and increasing the amount of shade on your property will help cool the surrounding atmosphere.


More trees please: results of Urban Tree Cover Survey

Published: 25 Feb 2022 10:24am

The results of Council’s recent Urban Tree Cover Survey are in, with the community giving a clear response – we want more trees.

More than 330 people answered the survey, with 91 per cent agreeing there are not enough trees in Wagga Wagga, and over half saying they would be planting more trees in their own backyard.

Council to prepare shade protection report

Environmental Education Officer Alice Kent was pleased at the response.

“What blew me away was that most respondents rated biodiversity and habitat as the key benefit of trees, with shade coming in second,” Ms Kent said.

“I think it shows that we as a community are beginning to look beyond ourselves and understand the way we’re intrinsically interconnected with our environment.

“It was also encouraging to see that 98 per cent of respondents agreed that planting trees would help keep our region cool. As we feel the increasing impacts of climate change, it’s great to know that more people see how planting trees will have ongoing benefits for all of us.”

Woman in a red dress standing beside an Australian native
BACKYARD SHADE: Environmental Education Officer Alice Kent is encouraging the community to plant backyard trees and shrubs this autumn to help improve our city’s canopy cover.

In addition to planting more trees in their own backyards, respondents said they want more trees on their nature strips and denser plantings in their neighbourhoods.

“This feedback is valuable as we’ll use it to help develop urban canopy targets for our Urban Cooling Strategy, which were identified as an action under Council’s Biodiversity Strategy: Maldhangilanha 2020–2030,” Ms Kent said.

“Our city currently has a canopy cover of only 10.8 per cent, so we’ve got lots of room for improvement.

“As most of the land available for additional trees is locked up in backyards and out of Council’s control, it’s reassuring to know that so many community members are working beside us on this tree-planting journey.”

The Urban Cooling Strategy will include Council’s proposed plans for cooling our city along with a suburb-by-suburb snapshot into urban temperatures and canopy cover. The draft Urban Cooling Strategy will be presented to Council with a view to proceed to public feedback in April 2022.

Council’s One Tree for Me giveaways will restart in June 2022.

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