Environment Day a hit in Hills

Peter Langlands and members of Transition Town Guildford hope to save this tree in Claymore Close, Guildford, from being cut down. Pictures: Bruce Hunt d418872
Peter Langlands and members of Transition Town Guildford hope to save this tree in Claymore Close, Guildford, from being cut down. Pictures: Bruce Hunt d418872

Held on June 5 each year, the event on the United Nations calender is used for new plantings and the greening of urban environments.

In Guildford, a conference was organised to discuss greening the suburbs, with hopes to coax the City of Swan to emulate City of Vincent’s policies on greening streets.

The Shire of Kalamunda offered free plants, shrubs and groundcovers on Sunday, June 8, and hundreds of residents gathered to collect free natives.

Other activities in the Hills included primary schools planting seeds in newspaper pots to be re-planted elsewhere.

In Guildford, a conference heard from Paul Hardisty, director of the CSIRO Climate Adaptation National Research.

Dr Hardisty said climate change had already impacted on extreme events: Heatwaves that used to last two days would now last six, and heatwaves that were a once-a-year occurrence were now happening two to three times a year.

‘We can measure and put a dollar figure on the value of trees and the functions they provide like water and nutrient management, amenity, micro climate, biodiversity, protection from extreme events and human health benefits,’ Dr Hardisty said.

He said trees could cool an area by 5-10C.

Peter Langlands said about 50 people attended the Green Spaces forum, which focused on valuing green space and its benefits to the environment and communities.

John Carey, Mayor of the City of Vincent, shared his council’s efforts to green the local environment.

Cr Carey said the City of Vincent had a 11.7 per cent canopy cover, but aimed to increase it to 20 per cent by 2050.

‘In 2013 we planted 1200 trees in a dense urban environment,’ Cr Carey said.

UWA Professor of Landscape Architecture Tony Blackwell discussed why green spaces were central to urban design for the future at the forum.

Bellevue Residents and Ratepayers Association renewed its push for a green belt in Bellevue, to link public open space and provide a pleasant walk through the suburb, partly using three small neglected parks that residents describe as ‘shabby’.

The City of Swan allocated $30,000 from the sale of Goodchild Oval for the upgrade of parks and open space amenities in Bellevue, and the residents group is lobbying for the money to be used for the green belt.

Hasluck MP Ken Wyatt said World Environment Day offered people in Hasluck the chance to consider the positive steps that can be taken locally to make a difference.

Mr Wyatt said the Green Army teams would be rolled out in Hasluck to improve and protect the environment.

‘The Green Army will become Australia’s largest-ever team supporting environmental action across the country, growing to 15,000 young people by 2018.’