The streets of Newcastle will soon become home to hundreds of new trees as part of a plan to expand the city’s urban forest.
Around 1,000 trees will be planted this year as part of City of Newcastle’s commitment to deliver cleaner air, reduced stormwater runoff, habitat for local biodiversity, more shade and a cooler environment.
Crews have been busy digging holes on street verges and reserves across Wallsend, Adamstown and Adamstown Heights to capitalise on the autumn rains.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, who joined city staff to plant trees along Tyrrell Street in Wallsend on Friday, said autumn offered the perfect weather for new plantings.
She added the work followed a council decision to join a global initiative aimed at enhancing nature in and around cities.
“While most community requests for tree plantings come during summer when we are all feeling the need for more trees, summer isn’t the ideal time to plant and establish trees,” Cr Nelmes said.
“The weather conditions are more favourable at this time of year as it’s cooler and more rain is about.
“We want to see more trees and nature in our cities, which is why, earlier this week, council voted to accept an invitation to become a pioneer city of the CitiesWithNature initiative, aimed at promoting the many benefits of bringing urban communities closer to nature.
“These include mental and physical health and wellbeing, better social connections, greater liveability, urban cooling and climate change adaptation.”
The council is running a series of education activities in conjunction with tree planting, encouraging children during the COVID-19 lockdown to observe animals that visit their favourite tree and write a love letter to it.
Ward 4 Councillor Jason Dunn said kids were invited to submit a letter and photo of the tree to [email protected] to encourage conservatory thinking and see which trees were the most popular across the area.
“We want kids to take a moment to visit their favourite tree and stop, watch and listen and then write to us about how many different animals visit the tree, how long they think it’s been here, and what could be lost if it was cut down,” Mr Dunn said.