Sydney to get 5 million new trees as part of $290 million urban greenspace restoration

In Australia, five million new trees will be planted in Sydney by 2030, making the city a greener and even greater place to live, announced New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian on April 11, 2018.

The NSW Government will plant more than 380,000 trees every year until 2030 and give away another 15,000 trees to people who are branching out and building homes in new land release areas in Western Sydney. It will more than double the tree canopy in Sydney from 16.8 per cent at present to 40 per cent. The trees will all be natives.

With more people putting down roots in our suburbs, this tremendous initiative will improve everyone’s quality of life and leave a lasting legacy for generations to come,” Ms. Berejiklian said. “Sydney is growing, but growth should not come at a cost to the environment or local amenity.

The announcement is part of the NSW Government’s new $290 million Open Spaces and Greener Sydney package, including $100 million to secure strategic green space, $20 million to build more than 200 new or upgraded playgrounds and $30 million to open up 81 school ovals and playgrounds for public use during school holidays.

The NSW Government is supporting the new Five Million Trees initiative with an initial $37.5 million in funding over four years.

Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts said the money would be provided through an annual grants program that will assist tree planting initiatives across Greater Sydney. “Planting more trees will contribute to the lowering of urban heat in Sydney and improve the environment for pedestrians at street level,” Mr Roberts explained.

Commissioner of Open Space and Parklands Fiona Morrison said trees provide many benefits. The Commissioner will help co-ordinate where many of the trees are planted, to ensure a strategic approach. “Tree canopy coverage contributes to an improvement in biodiversity habitats for species as well as providing much-needed shade for our streets and homes. Trees also improve visual amenity, landscape and a ‘sense of place’ in our suburbs,” Ms. Morrison said.

Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the benefits from the new trees would reach beyond the communities where they are planted. “Planting this many trees across Sydney is equivalent to taking about 355,000 cars off the road each year,” Ms. Upton added.

Featured photo by Storm Cunningham shows Sydney as seen from Manly.

See the 5 Million Trees initiative website.

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