City of Melbourne is developing an edible tree planting proposal for the Kensington Stock Route as part of the implementation of the Urban Forest Strategy 2012-2032.
The project's intention is to gradually edit the landscape, only planting fruit trees as and when mature trees require removal.
The aim of the consultation period was to determine whether the planting of fruit trees along the Kensington Stock Route was supported by the local community and to understand community interests or concerns about the proposal. We also sought suggestions on fruit tree species to help define the character zones and species guide in the planting plan.
We invited the community to provide feedback on the proposal from Monday 18 October to Friday 3 December 2021.
The draft planting proposal was shared on Participate Melbourne, letters were sent to residents immediately along the Stock Route and promotional signs were installed along the Stock Route. The project proposal was also promoted in a local Kensington community newspaper and on social media channels by community groups and local representatives.
Face-to-face activities were limited until the final week of the consultation due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Consultation activities for this project involved:
- an online survey that asked questions around connection to the landscape, species preferences, interest in fruit harvesting and left space for any further comments
- an in-person pop-up information session on the Stock Route
- one-on-one conversations
- meeting and discussions with local community groups in Kensington including the Kensington Community Network’s food subcommittee
- reaching out to Wurundjeri traditional owners for further input into planning and implementation.
Who we reached
What we heard
When asked “do you support the introduction of edible trees into the Kensington Stock Route?”, there was an overwhelmingly positive response with almost 91 per cent supportive of our proposal.
From those responses we received insights into tree species preference, local knowledge of the landscape, tree maintenance enquiries and general feedback on our proposal.
Some of the key themes included:
- increasing biodiversity in the local area
- the benefits to community wellbeing
- support for native planting
- questions around pest control or the use of pesticides
- considerations of location
- possible future opportunities.
The key themes from the survey responses can be found in the graph below.
The second key component of this project was to determine what kinds of tree species the community would like to see planted.
The word cloud below highlights the more frequently requested species.
After determining the most frequently requested tree species, we then cross checked this list with our Future Urban Forest report to ensure that we will be planting climate ready trees that will be able to tolerate a warming climate. This feedback will directly inform the species guide to be used on the final planting plan.
Top 20 most frequently mentioned species
The feedback received included:
After receiving support from the community we are now incorporating the feedback into the final planting design. We will also be collaborating with Wurundjeri Traditional Owner’s to incorporate their knowledge into the final species guide.
Once the planting plan has been finalised, it will be published on Participate Melbourne and shared with people who took part in the consultation. We will provide further updates at this time.
The first trees will be planted this planting season during the cooler months of the year.