City of Cockburn aims for 15,000 more street trees

Michael Woods and Tia Ucich enjoy a walk beneath shady trees at Berrigan Lake in South Lake.
Michael Woods and Tia Ucich enjoy a walk beneath shady trees at Berrigan Lake in South Lake.

THE City of Cockburn is aiming to plant 15,000 more street trees in its suburbs within the next 10 years.

Recent statistics showed Cockburn’s existing vegetation cover was just 26 per cent, with almost 90 per cent of that at environmental reserves, parks and ovals.

As part of the City’s Urban Forest Plan 2018-2028, residents are able to request a free street tree to increase the shade canopy of their street.

Cockburn parks and environment manager Anton Lees said the City had $300,000 budgeted for the program as they pushed to increase their street tree tally to more than 53,000.

“During the past decade the City of Cockburn has experienced rapid clearing of vegetation due to urban development,” he said.

“In a recent national survey on the state of vegetation cover in metropolitan Australia, Cockburn was ranked in the lowest quartile of the 140 local authorities studied for the degree to which they had lost shade canopy.

“The City must improve its shade canopy and the Urban Forest Plan will help balance urban expansion with a comprehensive program to maintain and protect the existing tree canopy, while expanding it in the future.

“A thriving urban forest has a multitude of benefits including lowering maximum summer temperatures in urban areas, reducing household energy costs and according to University of WA research, increasing property values by up to $17,000.”