Greening the West is a collaborative project that aims to deliver positive health and social outcomes and enhanced liveability from the resident’s of Melbourne’s suburbs through a program of urban greening.
Between 2015 and 2018, the project planted 1,072,320 trees and shrubs across 320 parks, reserves, open spaces, roadsides, and private land, covering an area of 1,755 hectares.
This amazing achievement was due to the hard work of 15 government and community organisations, over 4,500 volunteers and over 100 private landowners, who participated in 61 community events and tree planting days.
Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project partners included PPWCMA, LeadWest, City West Water, Melbourne Water, Moonee Valley City Council, Hobsons Bay City Council, City of Melton, Hume City Council, Wyndham City Council, City of Maribyrnong, Brimbank City Council, Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek, Friends of the Maribyrnong Valley Inc. and Conservation Volunteers Australia.
What’s been achieved
The project has made a significant and lasting difference to Melbourne’s west by creating new natural areas for people and animals, as well as strengthening community connectedness.
Some immediate benefits of the project include enhanced amenity of local open spaces, connecting the community to their local reserves and raising awareness of the benefits of trees and improving community health and wellbeing by connecting people to outdoor spaces.
The Greening the West – 1 Millions Trees project won a Premier’s Sustainability Award 2019 in the Environment Protection Category.
It was recognised for its leadership and excellence in protection and prevention of harm to the environment.
The long-term impacts of Greening the West – 1 Million Trees will not be fully realised until the trees are established in 10 years, but it is already clear that urban greening projects like it offer low-cost, preventive strategies to improve community health, reduce heat stress, increase amenity and foster social cohesion.
The project has improved the quantity and quality of urban green spaces close to residents, which will assist in promoting physical activity and encouraging the use of active means of transport.
In time, the project will bring a broad range of long-term ecosystem services, such as temperature regulation, air quality improvements and carbon-dioxide sequestration, as well as improved habitat and stormwater quality.
Greening the West – 1 Million Trees will also lead to improved natural habitat for local flora and fauna species that have been lost or threatened due to urban sprawl and ecosystem fragmentation.
This project was supported by LeadWest, through funding from the Australian Government’s Green Army and National Landcare Program.
Greening the West – 1 Million Trees project was delivered as part of the broader Greening the West initiative.