Growing Innovation: Issue 13, August 10, 2016

Nursery industry’s 202020 Vision gaining steam on the ground

The 202020 Vision is a plan with an impressive goal: to see 20 per cent more green space in Australia’s urban areas by the year 2020. For growers in the nursery industry, this translates to seeing two per cent more plants sold year on year until 2020. And with more local council areas sitting up and taking notice, momentum is certainly building.

To facilitate the growth of green spaces, one of the 202020 Vision’s 28 key projects is supporting local councils to develop urban forest strategies and get their greening off the ground. Last year this saw the release of the How to Grow an Urban Forest workbook, a step-by-step resource covering everything from decision-making processes and species selection, through to funding and urban forest maintenance.

Hort Innovation Chief Executive John Lloyd said it was encouraging to see the workbooks and masterclasses being utilised and the 202020 Vision gaining cut-through. “We’re now seeing this resource being cited by councils who are developing and initiating urban forest plans, and we’re seeing great attendance at urban forestry masterclasses that are held with state and local government representatives to go through best-practice urban forestry methodology,” he said.

Most recently, the City of Perth has prepared a Draft Urban Forest Plan to help ensure the resilience of the city’s urban forest, pointing to How To Grow An Urban Forest as among its key guidance documents. Additionally, earlier this month the City of Bayswater, also in Western Australia, announced a doubling of funding for street trees, in line with its commitment to the 202020 Vision. The City of Freemantle in WA and Penrith City Council in New South Wales are other councils that have capitalised on the work of the 202020 Vision.

“As well as the economic, health and wellbeing benefits for Australian communities, urban forests represent a significant economic opportunity for the nursery industry,” Mr Lloyd said. “A conservative estimate of the value of a single urban forest is approximately $225,000 per year, and that’s only considering trees. If an urban forest can be achieved in every local government area in Australia, the industry stands to gain value of between $25-50 million per annum – a significant gain.”

The 202020 Vision was developed in 2013 by Hort Innovation and Nursery & Garden Industry Australia and is funded by Hort Innovation using the nursery industry marketing levy. Learn more about the 202020 Vision.

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