What is an urban forest strategy?

    An urban forest strategy is a document for communicating the benefits as well as the costs of trees within our Town and outlines a long-term plan to achieve targets.

    What is a tree canopy?

    'Canopy' is the area of the leafy part of the tree as seen from above. Canopy trees are a minimum of 5 metres tall and create at least 7m2 of shade.

    Different species have more or less dense canopy. Currently, our Town of Victoria Park tree canopy sits at around 10%. There are several causes of canopy decline and a multi-faceted approach with a wide range of stakeholders will be needed to achieve an increase in canopy within the Town.

    Why are trees important?

    Trees are an integral part of our Town's urban landscape and of the quality of our lives. Because trees are the silent heavy lifters of urban infrastructure, they are one of its most important components and significantly impact upon our Town's livability.

    Trees reduce temperatures, filter particulates, reduce storm water run off, protect homes from wind gusts, provide habitat for wildlife and so much more. Trees represent significant financial value and cost to the Town, but until recently their benefits and costs have not been widely recognised, measured or communicated in great detail

    Are the community groups being paid to produce the strategy?

    100% of Victoria Park's Urban Forest Strategy is being written by dedicated volunteers from a wide range of professions. No volunteers are being paid to produce this work. The Town of Victoria Park has provided a grant of $20,000 to cover costs, paid upon completing milestones for the delivery and interpretation of the community engagement workshops, to advertise the process, conduct research, deliver online content, document, meet, consult and collaborate with stakeholders and write the strategy and associated documents. The Town has provided access to staff, particularly the Parks, Planning, Engagement and Communication teams.

    Our partner organisations are The Australian Urban Design Research Centre and Millennium Kids.

    What community consultation was undertaking to produce the draft Urban Forest Strategy?

    The Urban Forest Strategy working group undertook community engagement, including 5 workshops attended by 89 people, interviews with 8 individuals and 8 community groups, Town of Victoria Park Officer workshops and interviews, quick poll with 31 votes, 8 shared ideas, 5 questions answered and 8 ideas shared. On top of this, the group attended the farmers market and chatted to over 120 local community members.

    What experts have been engaged in the development of the UFS?

    Expert content reviews were engaged by the Town to validate the Draft UFS. They were Town staff and academics from Curtin University, University of UWA and Bank of Ideas. You can read about their qualifications in the UFS.