A collaborative community effort to put more regional native plants in the ground is transforming the Tanunda East landscape into an ‘urban forest’.
Corporate volunteers from Treasury Wine Estates are the latest participants in the revegetation effort.
So far, they have contributed over 100 volunteer hours to help the Tanunda Woodlands Group extend the vegetation buffers around the Rex.
Co-ordinated by Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and supported by The Barossa Council, the Urban Forest project works to bring together groups, schools, landholders and organisations to address local climate and biodiversity issues.
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM education officer Chris Hall said urban forests create an overall cooling effect in that locality.
“An urban forest is simply the sum of all woody plants, especially trees, growing in and around a town or city,” Mr Hall explained.
He said how this cooling helps to reduce what’s known as urban heat islands, where built-up areas collect and trap heat.
“Since The Barossa Council created the first urban forest map of Tanunda East in 2017, three on-ground buffer plantings have taken place at The Rex, Faith Lutheran College along Magnolia Road and at Tanunda Primary School,” Mr Hall said.
“It is empowering to have multiple groups and schools working towards a common landscape-scale goal across a number of properties; plus the climate benefits are being introduced into curriculum at both schools in coming months.”
Mr Hall hopes the example in Tanunda will inspire community-led initiatives in other areas.
“Now that we have a Tanunda template, imagine the potential for students and community to develop urban forest maps within other Barossa towns," he said.
The Tanunda Woodlands Group volunteers meet on site along Magnolia Road each Tuesday morning.
People wanting to become involved should contact Chris on 8563 8436.