Local councils in Perth and Peel will be able to expand their efforts in reducing heat across urban areas with $750,000 in grant funding from the State Government.
The Water Corporation has partnered with the WA Local Government Association to deliver the Local Government 2021 Urban Canopy Grant Program, aimed at increasing tree canopies in high urban heat risk areas.
WALGA President Mayor Tracey Roberts welcomed the funding, saying it would assist Local Governments in extending or bringing forward their tree planting programs to grow urban tree canopies and improve biodiversity across local streets and open spaces.
“It is well known that trees play an important role in cooling cities and provide significant benefits to the community,” Mayor Roberts said.
“Trees can cool the temperature by between two and five degrees and are considered the most effective way to reduce street temperatures, which will become increasingly important as we see rising temperatures associated with climate change.
“This funding will assist Local Governments in their efforts to redress canopy loss and provide greater scope to create cool corridors for local communities.”
Mayor Roberts said the sector had already been working to contribute to the State Government’s Waterwise Perth Action Plan through initiatives such as Waterwise garden and planting programs with the Water Corporation’s Waterwise Greening Scheme.
“We look forward to working further with the State on delivering these grant projects so we can all enjoy the benefits this additional shade will bring.”
Minister for Water Dave Kelly said vegetation strategies, particularly tree planting, are recognised as one of the most effective ways to reduce the urban heat island effect, which occurs when cities replace natural land cover with pavement or buildings that absorb and retain heat.
“By supporting Local Governments expand or extend their existing urban tree canopy programs, the McGowan Government is helping create future neighbourhoods that are cool, sustainable and liveable,” he said.
For grant program guidelines or to apply, visit the WALGA website or email: email@example.com.
Applications close at 5pm on Monday, 15 March.