Photo credit: Jane Holroyd
Upfield Urban Forest is a community project that aims to nurture a shady forest of trees and vegetation along the Upfield train line and shared bike and walking paths. The group boasts over 250 enthusiastic members (and growing every week!) who plant and maintain trees and shrubs from the southern end of the Merri-bek boundary up north to Fawkner. The group have recently incorporated a body called “Urban Planters Moreland” to facilitate engagement in grant and lease opportunities and further grow the Upfield Urban Forest.
Thousands of trees and shrubs planted
Over the last three years the Upfield Urban Forest group have planted thousands of trees and shrubs, weeded and watered along the Upfield trainline and have engaged in community campaigning to save significant local trees. The result of the group’s work can be clearly seen at stations like Jewell, Brunswick and Anstey and further north into Fawkner where vegetation is lush and inviting to local flora and local humans alike.
Building community connections and inspiring connections to the natural world through regular planting sessions are a core aspect of the Upfield Urban Forest.
Draw down carbon
The group’s revegetation work is vital to sustaining the north-south wildlife corridor, increasing tree canopy to mitigate against the Urban Heat Island Effect and provide shade for pedestrians and cyclists. Increasing vegetation also helps draw down carbon and supports Moreland’s target of achieving net zero emissions.
Human and animal well-being
Member Tamar Hopkins observes:
“people love the trees, shrubs and grasses we have planted. Every time we are at work we get warm wishes and excitement from our community. We know that trees, shade and natural spaces are essential for our well-being and the well-being of the non-human animals we share this space with.”
People are hungry for natural spaces in our city – edible ones too! The group are currently in the process of creating a number of orchards, edible sanctuaries that will contribute to local food security and be an invaluable asset in a climate change effected world.
Advocating to improve the Upfield bike and walking path
Additionally, the group has advocated for the protection of vegetation along the Upfield rail corridor in the face of Level Crossing Removal works and other developments. Their strong engagement work with developers and authorities has seen the Upfield shared bike and walking path become an increasingly attractive cycle route that supports local residents use zero carbon pedal power to get around.
How can I get involved?
If you are interested in joining, the Upfield Urban Forest group would love to have you! Please go to upfieldurbanforest.org to get on the contact list and to keep in the loop on upcoming planting days.