Council asks residents to open up on parks and gardens

10 July 2015

Alpine Shire Council is looking for the community’s opinion on its open spaces to help guide planning for the impacts of climate change.

The council has launched an online survey as part of its ‘Rec-less – Less Water, Less Often, More Resilient Open Spaces’ project, which aims to better manage parks and gardens in a changing climate.

The project is funded through the Victorian Government and will also include a showcase garden and plant guide to help residents choose appropriate plants to suit the conditions.

According to the latest data from the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology, the Alpine Shire is likely to experience significant climate change impacts.

“It’s predicted that we will experience more hot days, longer heat waves, overall drier conditions but more intense rainfall events, and more damaging storms,” said the Council’s Director Assets, Charlie Bird.

“Last financial year, we spent $139,000 on storm clean-up alone, and unfortunately climate change is likely to mean more storms and drought, stressing parks and gardens and requiring increased maintenance and clean-up activities.

“We’re also likely to have less water available to irrigate open spaces, so we need to consider the use of plant and turf species that can withstand long periods of hot dry weather and short spells of high wind and intense rainfall.”

Mr Bird said the community’s feedback was an important part of the planning process.

“It’s vital that we know what features of our community open spaces people consider important, as this will inform how we manage these areas in the future,” he said.

“For the purposes of this project, we’re talking about parks and gardens, not tracks, trails or forested areas, but nonetheless, these areas form part of the inherent character of our shire, so it’s essential we have the right planning in place to sustain them.”

The short survey is available on-line or in hard copy form at the Myrtleford, Mount Beauty and Bright libraries, and at the Shire Office in Bright.

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