Green Industries program
The Green Industries program aims to support private landowners in industrial areas to plant trees on their land to create a more liveable city and a better urban environment that supports the health and wellbeing of our community.
Hobsons Bay City Council recently developed and adopted their first Urban Forest Strategy (2020), which outlines an ambitious target to achieve 30% tree canopy cover by 2040, focusing on three different land use types: parks, streets and roads and industrial areas.
Many industrial areas have extremely low amounts of vegetation and tree cover. In Hobsons Bay, trees in industrial areas amount to only 0.45% of Hobsons Bay’s overall canopy cover of 7.5%. Targets set out in the Urban Forest Stratgey aim to increase canopy cover to 20% in industrial areas by planting trees in nature strips and on private land.
Council has implemented several programs to plant as many trees as possible in publicly owned land such as parks, reserves and nature strips. However, given that 54% of land in Hobsons Bay is privately owned, tree planting in public space alone will not be enough to achieve the overall target of 30% canopy cover. More trees are needed in private land.
In addition to this Council supports and promotes habitat gardening as part of the Biodiversity Strategy. Habitat gardening supports the use of indigenous plants in private land resulting in broader ecosystem connectivity. The initiative aims to establish greater genetic diversity, habitat for wildlife, food sources and stepping stones across the municipality to lower the risk of species loss. Maintaining and improving connectivity between areas of conservation value is an important component of protecting biodiversity within Hobsons Bay.
Though the primary focus for the program is to increase canopy cover by planting medium to large trees, there is potential to include some under-story planting to compliment large plantings.
Council intends to work with each successful applicant to design a plan for your individual site which may include planting of advanced trees only, tube stock tree plantings with under-story species, a mix of each, etc.
About the program
The Green Industries program can support Hobsons Bay’s businesses to increase canopy cover where there is capacity to plant trees and understory plants on their property. The program has been designed to be flexible to cater to a variety of circumstances. Below are some examples of how Hobsons Bay City Council can work with businesses to green our industrial areas:
- your business may have large areas of open land where mass tube stock plantings can be incorporated, and you may like to involve your employees and their families in a planting day, all you need is Council to supply the plants and mulch.
- perhaps your site can only fit advanced trees in separate garden beds around your grounds but would really like to provide green spaces and shade for your employees to enjoy the outdoors on their breaks.
- your business may need start-to-end assistance and have no budget at all. We may still be able to help.
Areas to consider where trees could be planted:
- around the perimeter of the property (if neighboring buildings are not too close)
- around car parking lots
- if there is a large amount of space, create large gardens and add gravel paths and benches for employees to sit outside.
Benefits of participating
Increasing canopy cover in our industrial areas will assist in reducing the Urban Heart Island Effect which benefits the entire Hobsons Bay municipality. Plantings trees also provide the below benefits:
- Provision of shade and cooling effects during warm weather
- Wind protection
- Storm water uptake and filtration
- Connectivity and habitat for wildlife
- Improved look and feel of industrial areas, providing an attractive appearance to visitors and employees alike, softening the landscape from built structures.
- Carbon absorption and pollution filtering
To be considered for participating in the program, you must meet the below criteria:
- you must be the landowner or have written permission from the landowner
- your grounds must have enough space to support a minimum of 10 medium to large canopy trees. Or approximately 380m² of space to plant trees (based on an average of 6-8m wide tree (7 m) = 38 m² x 10 = 380 m²)
- provision to provide either irrigation or adequate supplementary watering.
A note about planning permits: The Green Industries program is not intended to support development or redevelopment of sites where landscaping works are required as part of planning permit conditions.
Council reserves the right to select applicants at its own discretion and will not guarantee acceptance into the program based on meeting the minimum criteria, but rather, successful applicants will be chosen based on how the best outcome for Hobsons Bays Urban Forest Strategy actions and targets can be achieved.
Application deadline and program commencement
Applications for 2024 are now open. Tree planting is best carried out during the cooler months of the year, usually between April and September. Most nurseries require plant orders to be submitted well in advance to ensure stock is available. Therefore, applications need to be submitted by 28 February 2024.
Once planted, the trees and plants will require ongoing care to help them establish during the first 1-2 years. This requires regular watering and occasional weeding. Once established, tree guards can be removed and watering can be reduced, however, like with any garden, providing water during dry weather is essential for the plants to thrive and remain healthy.
How to apply
Please complete the below Expression of Interest form if you would like your business to be considered for Green Industries in 2024.
Click here to view form.