This toolkit has been created to share knowledge through capturing and disseminating attitudes and experiences of leading urban forest managers in Australia and New Zealand. You can read the executive summary below and/or contact me if you would like to read the whole document.
Urban forest governance relies on co-operation between state and non-state actors to achieve goals, objectives, and targets to increase the health, function and enjoyment of trees and green spaces in cities. Increased community participation in urban forest related activities can be driven by positive community sentiment regarding urban trees and green spaces through engagement programs. Community participation is being integrated into the development and implementation of urban forest management strategies, plans and processes by local governments across Australia and New Zealand. Community participation has been shown to improve realisation of strategic objectives and is therefore key to ensure robust governance of urban forests that can provide maximum benefit to society and the environment.
This report provides theoretical frameworks that centre on community engagement in an urban forestry context. These frameworks have been created through literature review, small scale surveys and semi structured interviews of Urban Forestry stakeholders. Community engagement and its outcomes are then highlighted through best practice case studies in Australian and New Zealand urban forest management. The toolkit concludes with a small sample of the numerous community engagement tactics undertaken by the author over the last 6 years in various roles volunteering with the Town of Victoria Park , community groups Vic Park Trees, Vic Park Collective, Vic Park Urban Foresters, West Australian Tree Canopy Advocates and work with not-for-profit organisations Millennium Kids Inc and WA Loves Nature.