The Lake Mac Urban Greening Strategy (UGS) is being produced with an aim to increase the amount of tree canopy and improve the local amenity for residents across the local government area (LGA). Why? Because without a strategy that aims to improve the situation it will only get worse, since Council is starting from a relatively poor base. And without a strategy there’s nothing to stand behind, to provide guidelines, to make the case for raising the bar and bringing the community along. We need aspirational goals says Peter Nichols, Natural Landscape Officer, charged with the job of rolling out the UGS. Speaking at a Sustainable Neighbourhood Alliance webinar meeting on Wednesday 3 November 2021, he noted that for example tree cover in spite of thinking this is a lovely area when visiting the park, for the suburb it’s only 6 per cent.
An UGS improves biodiversity, provides a cooling effect, reduces heat island effects, adds to tree canopy for shade and shelter. The LGA needs a 38 per cent cover to keep temperatures below a 3 degree rise over the next 20 years. So we all need to get behind this program to raise the tree canopy cover, says Peter.
But the principles extend beyond trees to include many types of vegetation, including lawns and verges. For example a:
Verge garden guideline is being produced, and there are to be,
Guidelines for naturalised waterways, including restoring Winding Creek in association with Hunter Water.
We can educate people but we can’t easily change values, so this UGS takes the long view, which will include building community trust.
A pin point map inviting community inputs delivered some positive comments, such as:
- It would be great to see the sections of Munibung Hill that won’t be developed in the future restored with more trees planted. If more trees could be planted now, this will provide a healthier more abundant environment to adjoin future residential developments on the Pasminco site.
- Protect Munibung and plant trees on the land that used to be paddocks. Also fix up the erosion issues and plant trees.
- I love the hike up to Munibung Hill; however, the track is severely eroded and much of the land is non-native grasses and weeds. There is a significant opportunity here to create a safer walking track and regenerate the native vegetation.
- Beautiful bush and lookout over the lake,
- Protect Munibung at all costs. this is vitally important. Buy land back from developers and state government and get it protected. Also undertake bush regeneration.
- Farm Street Reserve is a special place that is appreciated by many many people. Congratulations to the Landcare team that care for this wonderful part of Munibung Hill.
More at this link: Urban Greening Strategy
Find out about Waterway Naturalisation, here at the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities conducting research into: What are water sensitive cities