A number of people have raised their desire for more trees in Fremantle. In my last term, I initiated the Greening Fremantle Strategy 2020 which was developed in consultation with the community and sets clear goals to improve the City by:
- ensuring for every resident/worker to be within walking distance (400m) of a public green space
- applying nature play principles to new and existing Fremantle parks and their upgrades
- working towards a target of 20% canopy cover for tree planting
- developing strategy and policy to deliver a range of high quality landscaped environments capable of meeting the often competing needs placed on open spaces
- improving habitat that supports biodiversity
- ensuring water sensitive design
- being responsive and adapting to climate change.
Subsequently, we created two pocket parks in areas that lacked public open space and also developed The City of Fremantle Urban Forest Plan – a coordinated approach to increasing the City’s canopy cover and cooling our suburbs.
The thermal map below was taken in January 2015, and shows the hot spots in Fremantle, which typically lack vegetation and trees. This maps has informed our prioritisation of where to plant more trees. We are also focused on ensuring that key pedestrian and cycle routes have good tree canopy to make active transport more manageable on hot days.
Last financial year, more than 1800 trees were planted throughout Fremantle.
In 2017-18, 714 trees were planted by the City of Fremantle on residential verges and in local parks, while another 92 were added as part of the landscaping component of City projects like pocket parks, car parks and walkways.
This follows the planting of 500 verge and park trees in the previous year, and is the result of the doubling of the City’s tree-planting budget from $60,000 to $120,000.
In addition, the City also planted 12,000 plants – including 1015 trees – in dunes, bushland and the river foreshore during nine community planting days and 21 volunteer planting days with conservation volunteers and local schools.
I am currently working with inner city residents who have requested more trees in our city centre be planted next winter.
It is also worth noting that the reason Fremantle is often cited as “having the second lowest rate of canopy cover in Perth” – this is because these assessments include the Fremantle Port and harbours (the worst suburb is Belmont, which includes the airport – and runways and water don’t tend to have many trees).