Just in time to celebrate Canberra’s autumn colours, the annual Canberra Tree Week is back with events happening across the ACT.
The seventh annual Canberra Tree Week was officially launched by Minister for City Services Chris Steel today, Monday 3 April, at the opening of the Our Forest in Focus photography exhibition at the National Arboretum.
From Saturday 1 May until Sunday 9 May, there will be a variety of events happening across the ACT that encourage Canberrans to appreciate and celebrate local trees.
Mr Steel said that Canberra Tree Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the ACT’s trees and “appreciate them as one of our community’s greatest shared assets”.
“Canberra’s extensive urban forest is a big part of what makes our city so special,” he said.
“The ACT Government is responsible for over 770,000 public trees in streets and urban open spaces across our city.
“Earlier this year we released the Urban Forest Strategy 2021-2045 which will guide the future management and growth of our urban forest, to maintain a resilient, diverse, and sustainable tree canopy,” he said.
The ACT Government has also commenced the pilot Street Forestry Program to partner with local communities to help grow the urban forests.
Streets in Bonython, Florey, Kambah, Mawson, Ngunnawal and Scullin have been selected for this Program to help cool the neighbourhood and improve resilience to climate change.
“We hope to plant around 400 trees as part of the pilot, which gives residents the opportunity to get involved with the planting and ongoing care of street trees across Canberra’s suburbs,” Mr Steel said.
Andrew Braddock, MLA for Yerrabi and Greens spokesperson on Better Suburbs, said that following an investigation sparked by questions from the Canberra Liberals about the sudden disappearance of 60% of the ACT’s vegetation, Canberra is only one of two capital cities to see an increase in vegetation in 2020, compared to 2013.
“As we continue to lead the nation on climate action, we’re committed to a 30% tree canopy in urban areas, to cool our suburbs and create an urban biodiversity sanctuary across the bush capital,” Mr Braddock said.
“The ACT Government is planting 54,000 trees by mid-2024 to contribute to the 30% canopy, because a greener Canberra is a more liveable Canberra.”
Canberra’s Urban Forest Strategy also aims to protect the urban forest with a legislative framework that genuinely protects trees and ensures that when they are lost, they are replaced.
The range of events throughout Tree Week include guided walks, poetry writing, tours of the Yarralumla Nursery as well as a special story walk at the National Arboretum.
Mr Steel said this Tree Week, Canberrans are invited to learn, create, and be inspired by the beauty of Canberra’s trees.
“Canberra Tree Week is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our trees. I encourage Canberrans to take this opportunity to learn more about this city’s diverse urban forest and the role our treescape plays in keeping Canberra liveable, sustainable and resilient for generations to come,” he said.
Places are limited and are expected to book out quickly; head to www.cityservices.act.gov.au to see the calendar of events and make your booking.