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NSW Government invests $4.77m in trees for Sydney

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes announced thousands of news trees for Greater Sydney today. Here he helps Greening Australia’s Chris Macris plant the first one in Western Sydney.

The NSW Government has today announced $4.77m in funding for two new programs which will see more than 172,000 trees planted across greater Sydney.

  • 72,000 trees planted across schools and community parks in the Greater Sydney region with Greening Australia’s Cooling the Schools program
  • 100,000 trees planted across Greater Sydney with Landcare NSW

Developed by national environmental enterprise Greening Australia, Cooling the Schools will be implemented over three years and has three goals:

  1. Reduce Urban Heat – Lowering ambient temperatures and mitigating the urban heat island effect* by engaging with school students across the Greater Sydney Region;
  2. Connection and Learning – Providing opportunities for children to connect to nature safely and enjoy the associated physical, mental and social health benefits;
  3. A Biodiverse Sydney – Creating pockets of habitat for the city’s plants and animals.

*The urban heat island effect occurs in large built-up areas as materials like concrete or bitumen retain heat and increase ambient temperatures.

Greening Australia’s Nature in Cities Director Paul Della Libera said the ‘Cooling the Schools’ program will establish native habitats and help cool urban areas.

“By working together with school kids across Greater Sydney to increase the tree canopy cover in their neighbourhoods, we can lower temperatures and create healthier communities for both people and wildlife. This is particularly important in urban areas given rising summer temperatures.

“Cooling the Schools is an opportunity for the next generation to learn about, and foster a deep connection, with their local environment.

“We will be partnering with Western Sydney University to identify and prioritise the communities with the lowest canopy cover and greatest vulnerability to the urban heat island effect.”

Some of the Greening Australia team working on Cooling the Schools. L-R: Paul Della Libera, Michelle Frankel, Fiona Rayner, Mitchell Dudley, Michael Vyse.

The Cooling the Schools project is part of Greening Australia’s Nature in Cities program and is supported by funding from the NSW Government under the Greening our City Premier’s Priority. For more information about this project, please feel free to send us an online query.

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