Bass Coast Shire Council is developing an Urban Forest Strategy, to help ensure Bass Coast’s ‘urban forest’ continues to thrive.
Urban forests are made up of all trees and vegetation in an urban area. They include street trees and other vegetation on nature strips, in parks and open space, as well as in backyards, along waterways, in industrial areas and in conservation areas.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor Cr Michael Whelan said that urban forests provide a great deal of benefits to the environment and the local economy.
“Urban forests help cool our townships during summer, clean up air pollution, support biodiversity, reduce stormwater runoff, boost the economy, support social cohesion and connection to country. In short, our urban forests are great for health and wellbeing,” Cr Whelan said.
“Growing and maintaining a healthy urban forest also captures and stores carbon, helping to mitigate climate change.
“There’s even research to suggest that people who live around trees are less violent and experience less mental fatigue.”
And importantly, trees and green spaces are highly valued for their beauty, by both locals and visitors alike.
“This Strategy will drive improvements to help ensure we grow a healthy, green and resilient urban forest, that is well managed and protected and provides maximum benefits to our community,” Cr Whelan said.
“Everyone can help grow our urban forest and enjoy the many benefits that trees and vegetation provide.
“We encourage you to contribute to shaping this Strategy, by completing the survey at www.engage.basscoast.vic.gov.au/urban-forest. You can also ‘follow’ the project, to receive updates when they occur,” Cr Whelan concluded.
The urban areas to be covered include The Gurdies, Pioneer Bay, Grantville, Tenby Point, Corinella, Coronet Bay, Bass, San Remo, Newhaven, Cape Woolamai, Surf Beach, Sunderland Bay, Smiths Beach, Sunset Strip, Wimbledon Heights, Rhyll, Silverleaves, Cowes, Ventnor, Kilcunda, Dalyston, Wonthaggi, Cape Paterson and Inverloch.
The survey is open until Sunday, 29 May.
There will be additional opportunities to contribute through community group submissions and a community workshop in coming months.