The City of Glen Eira recognised it needed urgent action to increase its urban forest canopy cover. Community members engaged with council to improve their urban forest and a project finance approach was developed and applied to grass-roots community urban forestry. Modelling tree volumes, undertaking costings, informing budgets and implementation, and aggregation of more than 20 separate project components into financial planning ensured a successful commencement of the Urban Forest Strategy (UFS). Community input led to annual budgets and long-term financial plans being revised to deliver an expanded list of 65 actions. Funding for 2022/23 increased by $1.35 million for tree planting and replacement and $4 million for ongoing urban forest expansion. The UFS’s success now underpins components of other strategies, including projects of the City’s Open Space Strategy Refresh 2020, the Community Wellbeing Plan 2020 – 2025 and the Our Climate Emergency Response Strategy 2021–2025.