Putting down rootsPutting down roots

A UWA study is looking at how people feel about the trees in their neighbourhood, beyond the shade they provide.

A NEW survey from the University of Western Australia is after volunteers to share their thoughts and feelings about the trees in their neighbourhood. 

UWA student Harrison McGrath’s masters of conservation biology is looking at better understanding how natural surroundings impact people’s attachment to their local neighbourhood. 

The study aims to provide guidance for councils on how to improve green spaces in cities and towns.

Canopy

Former WA premier and Fremantle resident Carmen Lawrence is supporting the survey.

“A lot of local governments are trying to find effective ways to increase canopy coverage in their suburbs,” Dr Lawrence said.

“Much of the focus is on benefits like shade and cooling, which are very important, 

but Harry is also asking for volunteers to explore some of the psychological and social effects that trees can have for residents. 

“We’re hoping this will help local governments by highlighting the benefits and drawbacks to different species they might be planning to plant,” the UWA emeritus professor told the Herald. 

Survey participants are asked to reflect on what plants, trees and wildlife they engage with in their home, street and neighbourhood and consider how these impact on their general mood and energy. 

Trees play an important role in the identity of local neighbourhoods, for instance the iconic Norfolk Pines along the Esplanade in Fremantle, and this survey aims to understand what qualities are considered most important. 

Volunteers who complete the survey can enter a draw with chance to win one of two $50 native plant vouchers. 

Readers can access the online survey, which is open until December 31 by going to: http://www.bit.ly/streettreesurvey

by NEIL DORGAN

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