Climate change and urban heat island effect impacting Melbourne’s western suburbs
Melbourne’s western suburbs were once extensive tracts of native grasslands before being cleared for farming. Today, these areas are growth corridors, rapidly being transformed into housing estates without much room per lot for gardens or trees. This has resulted in a lack of established tree cover, leaving large parts of the west hot, dusty and dry.
West lagging behind the East in terms of tree canopy cover
The western region of Melbourne had just 5.5% canopy cover in 2018, compared to 17.4% in the inner south-east, and 25.9% in the east (The Age, May 2021). Whereas vegetation has a cooling effect, helping to lower land surface temperature, concrete and asphalt serve to absorb and radiate heat, contributing to the urban heat island effect and the impacts of climate change.
Ecodynamics Nursery – a social enterprise with an environmental focus
Founded in the western suburbs of Melbourne over three decades ago, the Ecodynamics business recognises that we have the ability to do good through the work we do. The conversion of our Nursery into a social enterprise in 2018 and our subsequent partnership with Greening the West means that we contribute 50% of our profits into community greening initiatives, with a mission to offset the impacts of climate change.
10,000 trees already donated with more than 20,000 committed for 2021
In 2020, we donated 10,000 trees to Greening the West, which were planted by Brimbank City Council at Sunshine Energy Park. In 2021, we’ve committed to donating more than 21,000 trees to be planted in various locations across the west, including another 10,000 at Sunshine Energy Park. We see this as vital to achieving our mission to offset the impacts of climate change on our city and to improve the wellbeing of communities in the west.