Cool our towns to cool our world

With concerns growing every day about global warming, more efforts are being made to reduce the impact of development by human populations.

Now there will be five million trees planted in Sydney by 2030 under a $37.5 million State Government program. To date, nearly 100,000 trees have been planted across Greater Sydney under the program. As part of the program, Hawkesbury City Council has received a grant for $12,500 to plant more trees, which Council will match with another $12,500.

Selected street trees will be planted over coming months in South Windsor and Bligh Park using the $25,000 funding. The program funding will also enable follow-up management over 12 months.

It is hoped that the extra trees will help to offset the urban heat island effect created in Sydney by increased development to meet housing supply targets.

Many councils throughout Australia have been implementing increased canopies for their regions over the years, including the Hawkesbury, so this is a welcome added initiative, the Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert said.

“With the increased rate of development across Sydney, research has found temperatures are increasing, so anything we can do to help cool the Greater Sydney region has to be a good thing,” the Mayor said.

“The aim is to grow Greater Sydney's tree canopy by planting more trees in streets, parks, bushland areas neighbourhoods and schools, front and backyards.

“More tree canopy means cooler suburbs by reducing the heat island effect, more wildlife habitat, more shade and more desirable properties,” Councillor Calvert added.

“Council gives trees away at various community events to help keep our environment clean and green. Council also offers free trees and plants every year at Council’s Tent at the Hawkesbury Show, just as we did at the recent Hawkesbury Show.

“Everyone is also welcome to buy plants from our specialised Community Nursery which has many native plants starting at just $1.”

To find out about the best tree species for your area, visit the Hawkesbury Community Nursery at 10 Mulgrave Road, Mulgrave (next to the Hawkesbury Companion Animal Shelter). It is open to the public every Wednesday or by appointment by calling 4560 4651.

You may even want to plant more trees at your school, local business or community organisation. Local Bushcare groups regularly plant trees too - join today! Just contact Council’s Bushcare Officer on martin.gauci@hawkesbury.nsw.gov or call 4560 4525.

As part of the 5 Million Tree Program, free trees are also being given to people building new homes in western Sydney through the complying development approval process, as part of the Greenfield Housing Code. For more information about the Greenfield Housing Code, visit www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/greenfield-housing-code

Upcoming tree planting events for 2019

Community members can also join in upcoming tree planting events for 2019:Five million trees

  • 5 June - Environment Day
  • 26 July - Schools Tree Day
  • 28 July - National Tree Day.

Urban heat islands

Urban heat islands are urban areas that are significantly warmer than their surrounding rural areas due to human populations, with temperature differences most obvious during summer and winter.

The main cause of the urban heat island effect is from changes in land use.

As a population grows and an urban area expands, the average temperature of the area usually increases.

The urban heat island effect decreases air quality by increasing the production of air pollutants such as ozone. Water quality also decreases as warmer water flows into the area’s creeks, rivers etc. and puts stress on their ecosystems.

The urban heat island effect can also be mitigated by the use of lighter-coloured surfaces in urban areas to reflect light and absorb less heat as well rooftop gardens.

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