Schools encouraged to help create more green spaces

Students from Riddells Creek Primary School planting their trees in 2023 (supplied).

Schools across Greater Western Water’s (GWW) service area, including Melton and Moorabool, are invited to get involved in this year’s Trees for Schools program to help increase tree canopy cover and create more green spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Up to 4000 native trees are available as part of the program, which GWW will distribute through an expression of interest process open to every primary and secondary school located in their service area.

Eligible schools will be given up to 50 trees, along with stakes and guards to protect the trees until they can grow independently.

Mapping and analysis has shown the western region currently has the lowest tree canopy cover in Melbourne at 5.5 per cent. In comparison, canopy cover in the eastern suburbs is 25.9 per cent.

GWW’s General Manager of Strategy and Partnerships, Kessia Thomson is encouraging all eligible schools to get involved and contribute to a greener, healthier western region and a more climate resilient future.

“Tree canopy improves air quality, cooling through shading and provides habitats for birds, insects and some mammals,” she said.

“The program will not only raise awareness about the benefits of green spaces and how trees help to reduce urban heat, but also provides an opportunity for an active learning environment.

“Students can participate in preparing sites, planting trees and doing general maintenance and watering.”

Ms Thomson said GWW hopes to build on the success of last year’s program where 27 schools in the region received more than 1000 trees to plant.

GWW’s service area covers the local government areas of Moorabool, Melton, Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley, Wyndham and Yarra, and parts of Hume, Macedon Ranges and Melbourne.

Expressions of interest are open until Monday, April 22. Visit Trees for Schools for further information on how to get involved.

The Trees for Schools program is a partnership between GWW, the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, ecoDynamics and local councils through the More Trees for a Cooler Greener West program and Greening the West.