The tree planting of Eucalyptus camaldulensis, or River Red Gums aimed to showcase the Urban Forest Strategy in action and taught the students how to mulch and water the trees.
A watering can and certificate of participation was presented to each student and the students were treated to a free BBQ.
Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Cr Dinny Adem was on hand to encourage the students. “This generation are ones who will reap the most benefits from our Urban Forest Strategy in the future,” said Cr Adem. “All the work being done now to plant out thousands of trees in our streets and park will ensure a greener future for the adults of tomorrow.”
“It is fantastic to see a local school getting involved in improving a park opposite their school. Those students will hopefully have a sense of ownership over their park and take an interest in how trees can help the environment and improve living conditions for everyone.”
The Urban Forest Strategy was endorsed at an Ordinary Council Meeting on 18 April 2017 and has a long term implementation plan.
Acting Director Infrastructure Michael Freeman said “In 10 to 15 years we will see the benefit for the whole community from this Strategy. It’s certainly a very exciting project for Council to be involved in. By 2037 we aim to increase green canopy cover to 40 per cent.”
“The Strategy starts with Shepparton, Mooroopna and Tatura but may be rolled out to small towns in the future as part of the Community Plan process,” said Mr Freeman.
The Urban Forest is all urban vegetation such as Council owned street and park trees, the plants and trees in back and front yards, and the vegetation along urban waterways, in reserves and on other major landholder’s land.
Mr Freeman said the focus of an Urban Forest Strategy is deliberate planning for a greener, shadier city and providing the right trees in the right location for greater canopy cover.
The development of the Strategy involved the mapping of every street tree in Shepparton, Mooroopna and Tatura to gain an accurate record of where trees are located, missing, damaged or nearing the end of their life.
Mr Freeman said Greater Shepparton has approximately 37,000 trees in streets, parks and reserves with varied cover and an ageing tree population. Approximately 19,000 of these are in Shepparton, 6,000 are in Mooroopna, 4,000 in Tatura and 8,000 in other towns and locations.
“Trees are one of our highest valued assets yet the value of trees to the wellbeing of our community is not often thought about.”