Planting seedlings for a cooler Rockingham

By Ashmeeta Subra 17 May 2024

A dedicated group of volunteers recently planted over a thousand native seedlings in Lewington Reserve to create the first of many Urban Shade Forests across Australia.

Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA), supported locally by the City of Rockingham, is hosting a series of exciting community planting events to foster a greener and cooler Rockingham for generations to come. In the first worksite in Lewington Reserve, volunteers came together and planted 1,315 native seedlings, including two local species of gum trees – Tuarts and Limestone Marlocks, and other natives such as Cockies Tongues, Basket Bush and grass trees.

Seedlings and scrubs (Image: Conservation Volunteers Australia)

Lewington Reserve is an urban reserve that has historically experienced disturbance and land clearing. As part of their effort to grow Urban Shade Forests across the Rockingham Local Government Area, volunteers re-established canopy cover to areas of the reserve to create cooling shade for the local community and provide homes for native wildlife. The project also contributes to the City of Rockingham’s wider goal of increasing the city’s overall canopy cover over the coming years.

Alongside planting, volunteers were treated to an engaging wildlife show by experts from Critters Up Close, featuring special native animals like Mocha the Stimson's Python, Neytiri the Tawny Frogmouth and Fairy Floss the bobtail lizard. The expert team also delivered an educational talk about conserving special natives, emphasising the critical role of tree planting in providing essential habitats and resources for their survival.

Wildlife show (Image: Conservation Volunteers Australia)

As climate change intensifies worldwide, cities and urban areas are experiencing rising temperatures due to Urban Heat Island Effect – a phenomenon that occurs when natural land cover is replaced by buildings, pavements and other surfaces that absorb and store heat. Planting lots of trees and shrubs in urban areas can help create shade and cool cities, mitigating the impacts of climate change, contributing to biodiversity conservation and building greener, more resilient communities.

CVA will be hosting three more planting events in Rockingham in May and June, with many more planned to celebrate National Tree Day across Australia.

Visit their website to find out how you can be part of their events. If you can’t get to an event near them, their new mobile app will guide you how to plant a Nature Block at home.

There are plenty of other community plantings coming up the next couple of months leading up to National Tree Day on Sunday, 28 July. Here's how you can involved:

Ashmeeta Subra
With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.