As our towns and cities expand, our connection and access to green, natural spaces is diminishing. Parks, grasslands and tree cover play an important role in the wellbeing of local citizens and make a contribution to climate on a local and global level.
Native plants in urban landscapes improve our standard of living by contributing to cleaner air and water, supporting native wildlife and providing natural areas for people to enjoy.
Greening Australia is an environmental not-for-profit that has been restoring and conserving Australia’s landscapes for more than 40 years. As part of its Nature in Cities program, the organisation works with government, businesses, and communities to build greener, more liveable cities by restoring native ecosystems in urban environments and enabling communities to connect with nature and its restoration.
“Australia’s cities are expanding at an unprecedented rate, leading to the loss of over 1.5 million hectares of natural green space,” explains Senior Program Officer at Greening Australia, Nicola Masters.
“We need to take action to work together to ‘regreen’ our urban spaces and protect our unique biodiversity.”
Giving back to the local community
Building upon its commitment to work directly with local community partners, Amazon Australia has teamed up with Greening Australia and Penrith City Council to plant 10,000 native trees, shrubs, grasses and native ground covers in the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA) – home to its newest fulfilment centre.
“When we opened our new site in February this year, we said we wanted to play a role in our local community,” says Sid Yadwad, Leader of the new centre.
“Amazon Australia has a growing presence in cities around Australia and we are delighted to partner with Greening Australia and Penrith Council to help invest and support greening efforts in the local area.”
The one-year partnership between Amazon Australia, Greening Australia and Penrith Council will see the Council nursery grow and supply 10,000 native plant species for planting throughout the LGA as part of both the Nature in Cities program and the Council’s Bushcare program.
“It’s fantastic to see what can be achieved when government, private and not-for-profit organisations set out to work together on a project to the benefit of the local community,” says Sid.
“Many of our employees live and work in the local area, and this gives many of us the chance to feel more connected to the environment we work in, while taking satisfaction knowing we’re working to support a larger urban restoration program.”
Working closely with Greening Australia and Penrith Council, Amazon Australia has already begun planting.
Last week, 40 employees of Amazon’s new fulfilment centre and corporate office broke ground on their first contribution to Nature in Cities, planting 600 trees in nearby parkland.
“It was great to see everyone come together and share experiences and advice on how to best conserve our local environment,” says Penrith Mayor Tricia Hitchen, who attended the inaugural tree planting event.
However, this is just part of a much bigger plan to establish 10,000 native trees, shrubs, and grasses around the Penrith LGA, which will work to assist the NSW Government’s stated target of increasing tree canopy cover across Greater Sydney by 40 per cent.
“Partners like Amazon Australia and Penrith City Council are enabling us to increase our impact as we work to create a biodiverse, climate resilient network of gardens, parks, schools, and waterways through our Nature in Cities program,” says Nicola, who welcomes Amazon Australia’s support.
Helping to cool public spaces for everyone to enjoy
A report by the Greater Sydney Commission also found that increasing tree canopy coverage was the best solution for reducing city temperatures, particularly in Sydney’s West where temperatures climb higher than areas by the coast.
“Penrith Council is actively working to protect Penrith City from rising temperatures, and one of the ways we’re achieving this is by planting trees to help reduce average temperatures over time,” says Cr Hitchen.
“Planting these trees is not only a great way to increase habitat for our wildlife, but they also help cool the community with additional shade.”
As Amazon Australia continues to pursue its mission to support communities and key sustainability programs, its investment and commitment to Greening Australia’s Nature in Cities represents yet another step forward.
By helping to green our cities with urban parks and community and rooftop gardens, we can work towards keeping ourselves cool amid rising temperatures, and foster happiness and social connection in the process.
“At Amazon Australia, we’re very aware that we are part of the local community, and we aim to bring the same innovation and energy to these locations as we do to our work,” says Sid.
“It’s such a tangible way we can make a difference in helping to create a brighter, greener future for the local community.”