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EDITORIAL: The importance of having ‘green’

There is a reason why commentators often use the term ‘leafy green’ to quickly sum up the nature or personality of a town, district or suburb.

Being ‘leafy’ and ‘green’ immediately conjures mental images and thoughts of  tranquillity, affluence and liveability.

Many are also using the term ‘treechange’ for people keen to move away from metropolitan lifestyles.

There is an innate part of the human consciousness that equates the presence of plant, other life and a sense of ‘green’ to overall environmental health and vibrancy.

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That’s why public parkland, tree and vegetation planning and projects tend to climb urban-development priority lists.

Some town planners argue that if a municipal council gets its parks and gardens formula right, the council is more than halfway to getting everything else to fall into place to establish the ultimate goal for their lot – having a great place to live.

Horsham Rural City Council is one of the latest councils re-examining its ‘tree-scape’ planning. The challenge for community leaders is to ensure landscaping programs involving lining streets with trees and creating shady parks and shopping areas and appealing passive recreation areas hit the mark. 

But it’s a moving target and history suggests it’s easy to get wrong.

Adopting a simple directive and process is probably the first step. 

This involves an understanding that the most appealing landscaping results work as part of an overall picture and not in isolation. In Horsham’s case, that means expanding well beyond established tree-lined areas.

There are the basic issues of aesthetics, functions and risks, which can also reflect the old ‘S’ landscaping methodology in that what is good for the senses and soul must also be sensible.

The term ‘senses’ reflects on what can be seen, smelt and touched, ‘soul’ reflects an understanding of environmental, cultural or historical aspects or situation, and ‘sensible’ is avoiding anything that upsets infrastructure or comes with physical or financial risk.

Setting goals to improve environmental biodiversity in an urban centre is one area that takes some understanding. These goals might or might not be appropriate depending on community sensibilities.

Urban centres can be food and habitat rich for all sorts of native birdlife, for example, but they can also represent little more than a desert, often depending on plant-species selection and placement.

What we know, regardless of how hard it is to measure, is that it is worth the effort to green up where we live, play and work.

Do we or can we offer something that is ‘leafy green’ or a ‘treechange’ for people pondering a shift to the country?

It’s all about liveability.

The entire September 29, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire September 29, 2021 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!