A call to action from concerned residents, local horticulturalists and landscape designers – we need to make good decisions now, to prepare for the future!
Proposals for New Castlemaine CBD Plan & Planting
Castlemaine has a large number of talented horticultural designers among its residents, some working regularly in Melbourne and some in Bendigo and beyond. Even among those who were unable to attend the first planning meeting to develop a new CBD planting strategy on Thursday night (17th), many sent in their ideas, most notable being Jane Marriott of Campbells Creek who brought along the Draft Street Tree Policy which the Council commissioned her to write in 2000.
The meeting quickly came to the conclusion that without an adopted Council strategy for the development of the CBD, including everything from trees to street furniture, planting ideas would come and go without the needed continuity required to plan ahead for global warming.
Around the state, shade policies have already been developed, for example, in Melbourne where the 22% tree canopy is planned to increase to 40%. Some suburban and regional councils have initiated community adopt-a-tree programs to lessen costs and vandalism.
It was pointed out that Castlemaine tree cover has been reduced over time to barren streetscapes on its major entrances of Barker and Forest Streets, where wide footpaths without verandahs may once have had regular tree cover. But as they are, the streets can be unusable by pedestrians in the summer. Studies were mentioned that have universally found that tree plantings increase retail trade and boost the general economic well-being in urban areas.
The group is asking the community to assist by lobbying individual Councillors directly and to sign a new petition (available at Soldier & Scholar Bookshop) urging Council to consider developing a CBD Streetscape Development and Planting Strategy as a matter of urgency. Individuals and business groups are asked to give their support for a strategy and to consider their own visions of how they want Castlemaine to be in the future.
For more information about ways you can help contact:
To download the petition, click the link below: