Water Minister Dave Kelly has announced more than 2,400 trees will be planted in 14 local governments across Perth to help reduce the impacts of urban heat in the face of climate change.
The trees are funded by the McGowan Government, through Water Corporation, as part of the $750,000 Urban Canopy Grant Program, which is being administered by the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA).
Funding will go towards tree-planting projects that help cool heat-affected urban areas such as verges, car parks, rail reserves, and commuter routes for cyclists, pedestrians and school children.
Several projects will also help create habitat and a natural food source for local wildlife, including the endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo.
Tree planting is among the most effective ways to reduce the urban heat island effect common in highly populated areas with minimal green cover and buildings or pavement that absorb, store and radiate heat.
Once matured, the trees are expected to provide an additional 11 hectares of tree canopy cover within the first 10 years.
The Urban Canopy Grant Program supports existing tree canopy targets and greening initiatives already underway in local governments and is part of the McGowan Government’s Waterwise Perth Action Plan (WPAP).
The WPAP was created in response to the major impacts of climate change and sets the direction for transitioning Perth to a leading waterwise city by 2030.
Successful local governments include the City of Armadale, Town of Bassendean, City of Bayswater, City of Canning, City of Cockburn, Town of Cottesloe, Town of East Fremantle, City of Fremantle, City of Kalamunda, City of Kwinana, City of Perth, Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale, City of South Perth and City of Vincent.
Round 2 of the Urban Canopy Grant Program is now open, with up to $135,000 available to local governments in Perth and Peel for tree planting initiatives in high urban heat areas. To view the program guidelines or to apply, please visit WALGA’s website here. Applications close Monday June 28, 2021.
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“Tree planting is a simple and effective solution to reduce the urban heat island effect and naturally cool our cities.
“Tree planting delivers multiple community benefits including improving air quality, increasing biodiversity, and creating more attractive places that promote health and wellbeing.
“As Perth continues to experience above average daytime temperatures – including its second-warmest December on record last year – greening initiatives like the Urban Canopy Grant Program are one way we can help combat the urban heat island effect.
“By making this program available to local governments, the McGowan Government is delivering on its commitment to tackle the impacts of climate change and create greener, cooler, more sustainable communities.
As stated by WALGA President Mayor Tracey Roberts:
“The Urban Canopy Grant Program will complement existing tree-planting initiatives already underway in local governments across Perth, and is a further step towards creating green, liveable communities of the future.
“In addition, the program will strengthen relationships between schools, community groups and local businesses who will have opportunities to participate in tree planting activities.”