Green cover brings cool change

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Penrith Council will plant around 100,000 trees in South Penrith and Emu Plains through the Federal Government’s 20 Million Trees Program.

Council received close to $827,000 through the program which aims to "re-establish green corridors and urban forests". It will see 96,000 trees and shrubs planted across South Penrith and 3000 in Bunyarra Drive reserve, Emu Plains.

Penrith Mayor, Cr Karen McKeown, said the mass planting will not only increase the diversity of flora and fauna in our city, the green cover it creates will help "cool our city".

"Temperatures in Penrith are on the rise, in part because of what is known as the Urban Heat Island Effect - an increase in heat absorbing surfaces like pavements, roads and buildings. To combat this effect we've established a Cooling the City Strategy."

The Strategy, adopted last year, is broad reaching. It influences all Council planning and promotes natural cooling through landscaping, the addition of water features and clever design.

"Planting more trees is a great place to start," Cr McKeown, one of Council's sustainability champions said.

The reserve in Emu Plains is currently open grassland. It joins bushland in the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

The new trees will create a cooling island around the concrete footpaths which cut through the reserve.

The 96,000 trees and shrubs to be planted throughout South Penrith will provide much needed shade throughout the suburb and make its open spaces more appealing for both people and native fauna.
Planting will start in mid 2016.

The 20 Million Trees Program is part of the national stream of the National Landcare Program to:

  • have 20 million trees and associated understorey planted by 2020.
  • support local environmental outcomes by improving the extent, connectivity and condition of native vegetation that supports native species
  • work cooperatively with the community
  • contribute to Australia reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Wednesday, 10 February 2016.