The draft of a new 50-year strategy to increase urban shade and protect significant and heritage trees has been recommended to City of Greater Bendigo councillors.
Council will decide whether to endorse the Greening Greater Bendigo strategy at Wednesday night's council meeting.
Greening Greater Bendigo is an action of the Community Plan 2017-201 and will provide a 50-year strategic vision for how urban trees and green infrastructure is planned and implemented across the Bendigo region.
It aims to strategically increase vegetation cover and shade across Greater Bendigo's urban areas in an effort to decrease the urban heat island affect that sees built-up areas endure warmer temperatures than the rural parts of Bendigo.
The strategy also includes a 10-year action plan indicating the highest priorities and commitments needed to achieve the vision over the short term.
Priority actions over the next decade will include the development and delivery of a 10-year tree planting program that is expected to increase tree cover while also replacing expected tree losses.
Precinct plans will be developed for urban areas and townships to help guide tree planting and green infrastructure planning.
The 10-year action plan will also conduct a review into how significant trees and landscapes can best be protected.
Part of Greening Greater Bendigo will see tree cover in urban Bendigo increased to 25 per cent by 2030 and then to 35 per cent by 2050. Currently, 16 per cent of urban Bendigo enjoys tree cover.
If successful, it will also improve community health and wellbeing and enhance the attractiveness of Bendigo.
In an effort to improve the health of the city's urban forest, the strategy will hope to achieve an establishment rate of 95 per cent for newly-planted trees by 2030.
It also aims to have no more than 10 per cent of trees will be considered to have a health condition of average of poor and; have less than 10 per cent the city's trees considered to have with a useful life of less than 10 years.
As part of the strategy, council will also advocate for consultation with national and state parks with urban areas as well as private properties, reserves and areas managed by other agencies.
The potential to develop an urban forest strategy was identified in council's Environment Strategy in 2016.
If Greening Greater Bendigo is approved by council, the draft strategy will go on public display from February 20 to March 27.
A final plan will be prepared in May and be submitted to council to make a decision on whether or not to endorse the strategy at council's June 17 meeting.