The loss of urban green space and native vegetation is a very important issue for Local Government, particularly in urban areas where there is clearing of land for infill and greenfield development. Reduced canopy cover impacts on public amenity, human health and biodiversity and as trees are often replaced with hard surfaces, this generally leads to increases in average temperatures creating urban heat islands. This often results in increased energy and water use for homes and businesses.
 
Local Governments have been playing a leading role to address this issue with many developing and implementing urban forest and/or greening strategies, adopting significant tree registers and tree bonds and making amendments to Local Planning Schemes.

To support Local Government efforts to maintain their urban tree canopy, it is vital that State Government provides the necessary statutory guidance and planning policies and WALGA will continue to advocate strongly for these changes.
 

2021/22 Local Government Urban Canopy Grant Program

 

The 2021/22 Local Government Urban Canopy Grant program was created to expand tree canopy in high urban heat risk areas in Local Governments within the Perth and Peel regions. Funded by the Water Corporation and administered by WALGA, the program provides $750,000 to support additional planting or bring forward future tree planting in these Local Governments’ current urban forest plans.  A total of 32 Local Governments are eligible to apply for funding to deliver tree planting projects between June 2021 and June 2022.

Round 1 successful grant recipients were announced in May 2021, with 14 Local Governments awarded funding to plant more than 2,400 trees by 2022.  Planting are earmarked for high urban heat areas including verges, car parks and road median strips, and will provide more than 11 hectares of urban tree canopy cover over the next ten years. 

Round 2 of the program is now open, with a total of $135,000 (ext GST) available. Preference will be given to Local Governments that did not receive funding under Round 1, and Round 1 successful grant recipients that wish to extend approved projects. 
 

See the Round 2 Grant Program Guidelines here.

See the Round 2 Grant Program Application form here.

See the Frequently Asked Questions here.
 
Please submit the Round 2 Grant Program Application Form and supporting attachments to environment@walga.asn.au by 5:00 pm on Monday, 28 June 2021.   Applicants will be  advised on the outcome of applications by Wednesday, 28 July 2021.
 
The presentation from an online information session for Local Government can be accessed here.

For more information, please contact Melanie Davies, WALGA Urban Forest Grant Facilitator, or call 9213 2065.


Round 1 Successful Applicants of the Grant Program

 
Local Government Project Title Project Overview Funding Allocation (ex GST)
City of Armadale Tree planting in Don Simmons Reserve Tree planting in a park and adjoining residential verges with close proximity to public transport route, primary school, car park, playground and other community facilities $43,398
City of Bayswater Morley City Centre Leafy Urban Streets Tree planting on verges in commercial and industrial areas of the Morley Activity Centre. $48,785
City of Canning Increasing Canopy Amenity At The Cannington Leisureplex Tree planting in the car park at the Cannington Leisureplex, a facility with high patronage that is currently devoid of canopy cover. $6,732
City of Cockburn Cockburn Canopy 149 Tree planting in 23 streets in Cockburn within both a residential estate, and an industrial area within an ecological corridor. $37,446
City of Fremantle Increasing Urban Canopy Cover Tree planting across seven sites adjacent to car parks, along pedestrian walkways, and in parkland in green linkages to connect green spaces. $16,520
City of Kalamunda The cooling of the Swan Coastal Plain, Kalamunda Tree planting in six highly used public open spaces and natural areas using native and ornamental tree species. $66,357
City of Kwinana Bertram Tree Planting 2022 Street tree planting in the suburb of Bertram, a subdivision estate developed in the 1990s with no street tree provision. $36,960
City of Perth City of Perth Urban Forest Plan - Infill street tree planting program (Moore Street) Tree planting on a newly extended footpath on Moore street in central Perth, adjacent to the Children's Court of WA and the Perth to Fremantle Principal Shared Path. $25,177
City of South Perth Trees for the future of South Perth Tree planting in six multiple use park precincts that encompass schools, sporting clubs, and wider community sporting and passive activities. $59,509
City of Vincent Beaufort Street Median Tree Planting Tree planting within the median strip of Beaufort Street to reduce heat for commuters. $17,320
Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale Abernethy Road Landscaping Project Planting of Eucalyptus wandoo along Abernanthy Road verge following an upgrade to widen the road, which is a major thoroughfare linking Central Byford to residential areas, schools and shopping districts. $16,332
Town of Bassendean Town of Bassendean Tree Planting Tree planting within an industrial area, major road median strip, and residential area where homes have little to no gardens. $14,273
Town of Cottesloe Curtin Avenue Greening Project Tree planting within the railway corridor along the Perth-Fremantle line to shade the principle shared path and create habitat for wildlife. $12,428
Town of East Fremantle Greening the Town Tree plantings in seven areas of underutilised public open space to increase community access and use of sites. $70,805
 

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Local Government Urban Forest Working Group


In early 2019 WALGA established the Local Government Urban Forest Working Group and is currently represented by 28 Local Governments from across the state. The purpose of the Working Group is to build the capacity of Local Government, identifying gaps and developing practical planning outcomes and tools. The Working Group operates as a community of practice for members to share their experiences, take collective action and responsibility for progressing agreed priority issues.

For more information on the Working Group, please contact WALGA Environment Policy Officer,  Jade Mains or WALGA Manager, Planning and Buildings, Chris Hossen.
 

Resources

 

Better Urban Forest Planning Guide

In November 2018, WALGA along with the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage released the Better Urban Forest Planning Guide . The Guide will assist Councils, developers and government agencies in their planning and policies around urban greening, tree retention and replacement. It includes information on planning, market based and regulatory ‘tools’, case studies that highlight ‘best-practice’ actions and how to access CSIRO’s Urban Monitor data, which is also available on WALGA’s  LGmap . The tool allows users to view and interrogate the Urban Forest Canopy data in the context of other environmental or land use planning issues such as connectivity of protected natural areas via ecological linkages, hydrography, contours or land use provisions of lands identified as priority for vegetation canopy cover increase. 

WALGA have been actively involved with supporting Local Governments in the preparation of reports, papers and hosting of workshops, including:


Data

There are a number of approaches Local Governments take in measuring urban canopy.

WALGA provides the LGmap tool, which is a sector specific tool, that provides an urban canopy data layer.
The Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage provides open source urban canopy data through Urban Monitor


Further resources on urban forests: