More funding to grow Sydney's tree canopy

An extra $10 million has been committed to tackle urban heat in Greater Sydney, enabling the planting of a further 400,000 trees over the next three years.

The funding has been awarded to Greening Australia and Landcare NSW by the NSW Government, which will each plant 200,000 trees in areas with low canopy cover, including parks, schools, and community spaces.

An acacia seedling.

Native trees like this acacia seedling grow into natural cooling mechanisms. Plants draw soil moisture up into their leaves, which then evaporates from the surface of the leaves and cools the air – much like an air conditioner. Photo: Tom Yau.

With rapidly expanding urban landscapes and an ever-growing number of Australians living in or close to major cities like Sydney, access to nature is diminishing for many – to the detriment of communities and the environment.

Greening Australia Acting COO, Paul Della Libera said the partnership is helping create a greener future for Greater Sydney.

“We’re having a real impact for people and nature by creating a biodiverse, climate resilient network of green corridors where communities and school children can connect with nature and are empowered to engage in its restoration.

“It’s fantastic to be able to expand our Cooling the Schools initiative to tackle urban heat in schoolyards, and we look forward to working with local partners to plant thousands more trees towards rewilding Sydney.”

Greening Australia staff member and students water a tree they've just planted.

Greening Australia is working with students to add thousands of native plants to the places where they learn and play. As students learn about and connect with nature, they’re also helping cool their neighbourhoods by increasing canopy cover, and creating habitat for plants and animals. Photo: Tom Yau.

Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said the Sydney Canopies Project will help support the larger scale Greening our City Program, which will see five million trees planted across Greater Sydney by 2030.

“We’re on the way to achieving that goal, with one million trees already planted,” Mr Roberts said.

“The Sydney Canopies Project will continue this fantastic momentum, with more than 350 new trees on average planted every day. These trees will help provide more shade, cooler suburbs, and enhanced liveability for our communities, with the ultimate aim of increasing Sydney’s tree canopy cover to 40 per cent by 2036.”

Landcare NSW CEO Turlough Guerin said they were thrilled to continue working with the Department to create a greener Sydney.

“The expertise of our volunteers will be important in ensuring that appropriate sites are chosen, correct tree choices are made, and trees are planted with the best chance of survival,” said Dr Guerin.

The Sydney Canopies Project will be funded through the approved $60 million allocation from the NSW Climate Change Fund.
Learn more about Greening Australia’s Nature in Cities Program. For further information on this article, or any other Greening Australia news, please send us an online query.
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