Wyndham City is seeking feedback on the draft City Forest and Habitat Strategy. The draft strategy aims to protect and enhance our significant natural assets, including our boulevards and street trees, significant trees, areas of conservation value and habitat areas for our native species.

Our vision is for Wyndham City to be a vibrant living ecosystem with shade and green spaces that support healthy communities and natural environments.

The strategy sets out what we want to achieve by 2040, how we will do it, and key targets for the next 5 years.

The specific objectives of our strategy are to -

  • Increase urban tree canopy cover and create an urban forest
  • Protect and manage our trees as valuable council assets
  • Improve urban and rural habitat protection, connectivity, resilience and health
  • Engage our community in understanding and valuing our trees and natural habitat
  • Manage potential risk and conflict between trees and other assets

Download the draft City Forest & Habitat Strategy

Download the draft City Forest & Habitat Strategy - Annexes (Appendices)

Download the draft City Forest & Habitat Strategy - Maps

 

Draft City Forest and Habitat Strategy - Summary

The City Forest and Habitat Strategy vision is for Wyndham City to be a vibrant living ecosystem with shade and green spaces that support healthy communities and resilient, connected, natural environments.

As urban areas grow, cities around the world are realising the benefits of green spaces. Urban forests and the active management of natural spaces is creating places where humans and nature can coexist and thrive.

Wyndham City’s location on the urban fringe means we retain significant natural environments that provide habitat for native plant and animals of local to international significance. Wyndham City also manages over 200,000 trees in its streets and open spaces, including distinctive boulevards, parks and conservation reserves. There are, however, challenges including a highly fragmented landscape, rapid urban development and a dry (and drying) climate.

The City Forest and Habitat Strategy will address these challenges and support Wyndham City to create a vibrant living city and provide leadership in urban/peri urban design. Long term targets for 2040 as well as short term targets and actions to guide our work over the next 5 years have been identified.

The objectives of the City Forest and Habitat Strategy are to -

  • Increase urban tree canopy cover and create an urban forest
  • Protect and manage our trees as valuable council assets
  • Improve urban and rural habitat protection, connectivity, resilience and health
  • Engage our community in understanding and valuing our trees and natural habitat
  • Manage potential risk and conflict between trees and other assets

Strategic Themes

Connecting our Habitat Areas

Wyndham City contains a vast array of natural habitats, many of which are regionally or nationally significant including the Werribee River, Little River and the Victorian Volcanic Plains.  Maintaining the good health of these areas and providing connections between them is essential to their long term viability. We will enhance and protecting our exiting habitats, revegetate fragmented linkages, create new links and support habitat connectivity in gardens and open spaces in the urban areas.

Improving our Streetscapes

Although the number of trees in Wyndham City is increasing each year as Council and developers plant new trees, we have one of the lowest canopy covers in greater Melbourne. To create a thriving urban forest we will increase our canopy cover from 9 to 12.5%, and improve long term tree health through appropriate species selection, soil and watering needs and innovative practices. We will ensure tree planning is considered early in any proposed developments.

Parks and Reserves

Wyndham City has a significant network of parks and reserves, which are one of the last refuges for trees and habitat in the urban landscape. There are also numerous conservation reserves that protect rare or endangered species. This strategy aims to increase canopy cover and habitat where appropriate, manage our natural areas for conservation and biodiversity outcomes and identify new reserves to add to our network.

Private Realm Trees

As Wyndham City has developed, residential lot size has shrunk meaning less room for trees and gardens in the private realm. To create our urban forest we will need to actively protect those trees already in the private realm and support our community to grow trees where they can. Wyndham City will ensure strong planning controls ensure space is retained for trees in new developments. We aim reducing the loss of current trees and add to our overall canopy cover in private lands.

Urban Forest Management Tools

Wyndham City’s 200,000 trees are a significant environmental and community assets and it is critical they are managed effectively to maximise their health and longevity.  To do this we need to apply best practice standards and monitor the costs and benefits of different approaches for continuous improvement. Through this strategy we will develop and implement a range of best practice tools to record and analyse our tree assets, identify and care for significant trees and have policies in place for the care and management of our trees

Working with the Community

Wyndham City’s community is highly diverse and rapidly growing, with a mix of long standing and new residents. Strong relationships with residents and other stakeholders will be vital for the success of this strategy.  We aim to build ongoing collaborative relationships and provide opportunities for developing community networks and leadership. By working together with the community, we are better able to support their role in protecting and enhancing our environment.

Working with Traditional Owners

For generations, the lands of Wyndham City have been home to Aboriginal people; including speakers of at least three distinct languages who are members of an alliance now described as the Kulin Nation. A number of culturally significant sites remain in the area and we will engage and work proactively with Tradition Owner groups to ensure appropriate practices are in place by Council to care for these sites when implementing environmental works.

Partnerships and Advocacy

Achieving the objectives of this Strategy will require partnering and influencing other stakeholders. Many of the opportunities to protect and enhance habitat or increase tree canopy are located on, or the responsibility of other public or private landholders. We will engage and collaborate with key stakeholders to deliver the desired outcomes.

Nominations Open for Wyndham City’s Significant Tree Register?

Through our strategy we are establishing a Significant Tree Register. This register will identify trees on Council land within Wyndham City that have significant scientific, historical, cultural or aesthetic value. Inclusion on this register will provide increased protection and care for our special trees.

We are currently taking nominations for significant trees across Wyndham.

Nominated trees will be assessed by a qualified arborist and other specialists to ensure they meet the Significant Tree Register’s criteria.

If you know of a tree that should be nominated for the Significant Tree Register, you can let us know. Go to our interactive map and locate the site. When you click on it a box will pop up where you can tell us about the tree and what makes it special.

Significant Tree Register Nominations

Have Your Say

Late last year we asked the community and other interested parties about their views for greening and protecting the natural assets of our city –we heard the Wyndham community cares about our environment and wants to enhance it.

Now we have a draft strategy, and we are going back to the community to see if we are on the right track.

We invite residents of Wyndham City and others with an interest in greening our streets and protecting our natural areas to give their feedback on our draft City Forest and Habitat Strategy.

You can do this in several ways –

  • Fill out our community survey
  • Provide feedback through ouronline form
  • Attend one of our information sessions to find out more and provide direct feedback to our Environment team staff.
    • Monday 2 October (2.30 - 4pm) Featherbrook Community Centre, Community Room 3, 33-35 Windorah Drive, Point Cook.
    • Wednesday 4 October (6-8pm) at Wyndham City Council Chambers, 45 Princes Highway, Werribee
    • Saturday 7 October (10am-12pm) at Penrose Community Centre, 83 Penrose Promenade, Tarneit.
  • Email us with your thoughts at green.living@wyndham.vic.gov.au

Consultation closes: 5pm Wednesday 18 October

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