At the heart of the Town of Victoria Park’s Urban forest strategy is the Vic Park community, both in content and in delivery. From inception, this Urban Forest Strategy (UFS) has been community led.

130 residents petitioned for a Special Electors Meeting, in the main due to the removal of 98 mature trees as part of a development at Lathlain Park.  This resulted in a range of tree related motions being put forward at the meeting.

One such motion was for the Town to investigate writing an urban forest strategy.

During the process of investigation and the resultant tender to write the UFS the Town decided to approach the project with Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) principles in mind.

Adopting this approach allowed for drawing on the strengths, skills and passions of the local community.
It provided a mechanism to increase capacity by providing $20,000 directly to the Vic Park Collective to run the project along with Vic Park Trees and other community members.

This presentation will discuss the timeline, processes, outputs and broader community outcomes of this project; as well as structure, governance and challenges and what the implementation phase will look like.

Heather Johnstone

Urban forests excite Heather, particularly working in the space that fosters multi-stakeholder partnerships to bring community outcomes such as improvements in social well-being and civic participation. She believes strongly that everyone has a skill they can share and that those in the community who choose to share their skills should be supported and valued appropriately, to build the capacity and resilience of the community as a whole.

During the last 2½ years Heather has volunteered her time in writing both the expression of interest and request for quote for the urban forest strategy, marketing and social media, developing content and running workshops for community consultation.  Along with Dave Lindner from the Vic Park Collective and Millennium Kids Inc, Heather co-authored the Town of Victoria Park Urban Forest Strategy.  Vicki Caulfield and Jim Mellor were also great contributors.

Heather coordinated the 40 volunteers that supported the project during its development and made numerous presentations to Town of Victoria Park staff as well as the World Forum on Urban Forests held last year in Italy.

Heather is a current member of the Transition to Implementation Working Group who are working on the implementation Action Plan for the Town of Victoria Park’s Urban Forest strategy.
She also currently volunteers with community groups Vic Park Urban Foresters in the core group;  sits on the Vic Park Collective committee and she is also a member of the Millennium Kids Inc council, where she lends her skills to foster increased urban tree canopy and the building of stronger communities.