A community-led plan to plant one million trees by 2030 has been backed by the Alexandrina Council, just in time for National Tree Day on Sunday, August 2.
The One Million Trees Project was introduced to council by Port Elliot-Middleton Ward councillor Michael Scott OAM, who said that tree planting was one of the simplest, most effective and most important ways of tackling climate change.
"In support of council's Climate Emergency Declaration, I suggest that council play a role in helping to encourage community groups, service clubs, rural landowners, schools and residents in an ambitious goal to collectively plant, and record progress toward planting, one million trees across the Alexandrina region by 2030," Cr Scott said, when introducing a motion to elected members at the council's June meeting.
"Council's primary role in the project (with minimal impost on staff) would be to set up and promote an online system which can capture the number, species and location of trees being planted across the region, and to provide a public tracking mechanism so everyone involved can see the progress being made toward the shared one million trees goal."
Mr Scott also said that while the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbed by each tree is highly variable (depending on the species, site and rainfall of the planting location) as a conservative estimate, every 15 trees planted would sequester one tonne of CO2.
"Planting one million trees across the Alexandrina district could sequester more than 65,000 tonnes of CO2, and has the ability to significantly improve the landscape, enhancing our region's spectacular scenery and natural environment and creating a lasting legacy for future generations," Cr Scott said.
Councillor Scott's initial motion requested that council support the project by establishing an online system for capturing and reporting the number, species and location of local native trees being planted across the region and that $2000 be donated to the Alexandrina Community Nursery to support the purchase of local native trees for use by the community in the launch of the program.
Elected members voted to adjourn debate until July, pending a workshop, with the motion being carried on July 20 in an amended form.
Amendments included that the council approach the Goolwa to Wellington LAP regarding methods to capture and report the number, species and location of local native trees being planted across the region and that the project becomes integrated into the urban greening strategy as part of the future climate emergency action plan for the Alexandrina region.
National Schools Tree Day will be held this Friday (July 31) and the One Million Trees Projected is expected to be launched on Sunday.