— Clover Moore MP (Lord Mayor, City of Sydney)
(Image courtesy City of Sydney)
The City of Sydney handed out 2,030 free trees to encourage Sydneysiders and visitors to help green our global city now and into the future on the morning of Monday, 29th August.
The native seedlings, including Banksias, Tea trees, Wattles, Bottlebrush and Eucalypts, were given away at Customs House and Martin Place.
The giveaway marks the impending release of the State of the City 2011 Report, the third annual report back on the City’s 2030 Sustainable Sydney program. A free talk and workshop will be held in Sydney Town Hall at 6:30pm on Wednesday 31 August to share our progress so far.
“Cities are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and the City has set ambitious targets to reduce our emissions by 70% by 2030,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP
“More trees and greenery in our gardens, backyards, streets and parks will help us get there and this giveaway is part of inviting people to join us.
“We hope these free seedlings will inspire residents, businesses and visitors to plant them and help us create a greener future.
“There are already more than 40,000 street and park trees in inner Sydney and our villages and we have bold plans to increase the tree canopy by 50 per cent over the next 20 years, beautifying our streets and homes, improving air quality and helping to cut power bills.
“Trees naturally cool hot urban areas and by planting and replanting native and exotic trees, we can cool parts of our city by up to 6 degrees and lower air conditioning bills. Increasing the tree canopy will be an important step in our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent.”
Green spaces are vital to Sydney. There are more than 400 parks and open spaces managed by the City and 93 playgrounds with swings and slides, including an all-abilities playground at Sydney Park. The city has 13 ovals and sports fields and provides 120 sporting stations at City and external facilities each week for 26 different sports.
“By 2030 the number of homes in the inner city and surrounding villages is expected to increase and in an increasingly urban environment these green spaces help reduce pollution and allow people to connect with nature,” said the City’s chief arborist Karen Sweeney.
In the past 12 months the City has completed several major park upgrades with many more now underway including:
• Completion of the $9.4 million upgrade to Rushcutters Bay Park and Community Tennis Facilities with 32 new trees and palms, five resurfaced tennis courts, a
new kiosk building, new lighting, pathways, park furniture, stairs for access to the foreshore, improved stormwater management and restoration of the heritage Reg Bartley Grandstand with new change rooms and toilet block.
• A stunning $9 million dollar facelift for Prince Alfred Park – one of the oldest parks in inner Sydney, with hundreds of new trees and plants including rainforest species, succulents, shrubs and grasses, citrus trees, figs, native palm trees, passionfruit vines and climbing frangipanis. The upgrade also includes five new tennis courts, basketball courts, children’s play areas, family picnic areas, walking and cycling paths and energy efficient lighting. Work is well underway on the highly anticipated heated swimming pool, due to open in 2012.
• Completion of a major revitalization of Sydney Park including the popular Village Green, new grass mounds and fig trees for shade, an all-abilities playground, accessible toilets, fitness equipment and a kiosk.
• Three new community gardens and two new street verge gardens approved in the past 12 months where herbs, flowers, fruit and vegetables will be soon be grown. The City is working with another group on a new community garden in Hugo Street, Redfern, with community consultation about to begin. These new
gardens join the 15 community gardens already flourishing. • We’ve renewed pocket parks including Walla Mulla in Woolloomooloo, Pinkstone Reserve and Lillian Fowler Reserve in Erskineville, and Ethel Turner Reserve in Paddington. Improvements include new plants, trees, furniture, lighting, toilet blocks, paving and exercise equipment. We’ll be consulting on further park improvements over the next 12 months including South Sydney Rotary Park in Alexandria, Janet Bierne Reserve in Beaconsfield and Reconciliation Park in Redfern.