Branching Out: Urban Shade Forest Initiative Gains Momentum in Rockingham

Following a successful initial launch in Greater Dandenong, Victoria, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) is excited to announce the expansion of the Urban Shade Forest project to the City of Rockingham, Western Australia.

The Urban Shade Forest project, a collaboration between CVA and Chevron Australia, supported locally by the City of Rockingham, seeks to increase the amount of vegetation and canopy cover within cities; creating suburbs that are cooler, greener, and more resilient. The Rockingham Forest is the second Urban Shade Forest established by CVA within Australia, and will see thousands of native seedlings planted across two suburban Reserves in the City of Rockingham – Lewington Reserve, Rockingham and Seahaven Reserve, Waikiki.

Why create Urban Shade Forests?

As green spaces continue to disappear from our cities and suburbs, we face the emergence of Urban Heat Islands – where areas with high levels of concrete and other built surfaces absorb and trap heat for extended periods of time. If you’ve ever stood barefoot on concrete in the middle of summer, you’ll know exactly what we mean! During summer heatwaves, these Urban Heat Islands pose a considerable risk to both the community and to our wider natural environments.

The Urban Shade Forest project allows communities to be better equipped to tackle periods of extreme heat, by reintroducing shade into vulnerable communities through dense plantings of native trees and vegetation. Beyond cooling our neighbourhoods, these Urban Shade Forests create crucial habitat for species that call our cities and suburbs home. As an added bonus, these Urban Forests also help communities to connect with nature by bringing nature closer to home, and to reap the physical and psychological benefits of spending time in nature.

How do I get involved?

We’re inviting the community to participate in a series of exciting planting events, running from May – June 2024. The first event will launch on Saturday May 4th, at Lewington Reserve in Rockingham. In addition to planting activities, there will be a series of other exciting workshops and activities available, as well as native seedling giveaways. To learn more about upcoming events or to register, please visit https://conservationvolunteers.info/USFRockingham.

Private landowners within the Rockingham Local Government Area who are interested in contributing to the expansion of Urban Shade Forests within the City of Rockingham by planting on their properties, schools or businesses are invited to contact CVA via [email protected] to learn more.

If you live outside of the Rockingham area (in WA, or beyond), why not create your own Urban Shade Forest at home, guided by our Nature Blocks program on the CVA App.

Download the CVA app and get started now!

 

The Urban Shade Forest initiative is supported by founding partner Chevron Australia, Chevron’s premium fuel brand Caltex and supported locally by the City of Rockingham.

Proudly supported by our partners

Chevron & Caltex