About

Aims

  • Promote and improve the natural environment in the City of tslogoWhitehorse
  • Promote an understanding of indigenous plants and the natural environment
  • Disseminate information to members.

Statement of Purpose

  • To investigate the present and potential areas of parklands and sanctuaries within the City of Whitehorse and to have selected bushland areas reserved as sanctuaries and parklands, preserving their natural amenity.
  •  To encourage and participate in the planting of indigenous trees and plants in parks and sanctuaries and along streets, especially in denuded areas.
  •  To foster a general interest in the native flora of the City of Whitehorse, to encourage the retention of existing indigenous trees and plants, and, in particular, to encourage the use of indigenous plants in private gardens.
  • To stimulate an interest in the history of the City of Whitehorse, in particular by accumulating, disseminating and preserving information on the natural history of the area.
  • To concern itself with wider conservation issues, although the interests of the Society lie mainly within the City of Whitehorse.

Profile 

The Tree Society is a not-for-profit incorporated environmental organization with over 180 members managed by an honorary committee of five members.

The Society concerns itself with issues involving the natural landscape within the City of Whitehorse and also regional, statewide and national environmental concerns. Local issues of interest to the society include planning, the built landscape, streetscape character and the management of municipal parks and open spaces.

The Society was started in 1959 when a group of Blackburn residents, concerned about the loss of local bush character, banded together to lobby council to reserve areas of remnant vegetation and open space for parkland.

The Society has been instrumental in supporting the election of ‘green’ Councilors, actively promotes the planting of indigenous plants and has published regular newsletters, plant guide booklets and an indigenous plants poster.

In the early to mid-1980s, the Society was instrumental in the creation of the Special Residential Zone (now the Significant Landscape Overlay No. 1) in Blackburn with its tree control provisions and has provided crucial support for establishing community Bushland Park Advisory Committees unique to Whitehorse.

Since its inception in 1959 the tree society has been active in fighting to preserve and enhance the natural environment in the City of Whitehorse.

During this period far-sighted local residents, initially in Blackburn, but ultimately in the City of Nunawading (latterly Whitehorse) and beyond, believed that community action, political lobbying and perseverance could, and would, safeguard the local and wider environment for the benefit of all.

It all started in the mid-1950s when the relentless over-clearing of native (now called indigenous) bushland for residential development was questioned by a number of Blackburn residents. Joan Satchwell, an original member of the tree society, remembered that her first interest in the preservation of the Blackburn environment was the result of a 1956 letter to The Age stating that Furness Park (now part of Blackburn Creeklands) was ‘… out of place in a suburban area and should be tidied up and cleared …’

Several informal meetings were organized to discuss ways and means to combat this loss of natural amenity, which culminated in the formation of the Blackburn Tree Preservation Society in 1959 (the ‘and District’ was added later).

How can we best measure the success (or otherwise) of all the years of advocacy by the hundreds of tree society members on behalf of the local environment?

One of the most persuasive indicators of the tree society’s success is to view a satellite photograph of the greater Melbourne metropolitan region at various distances from Earth. It’s quite startling to see a patch of green in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne from altitudes of over 100 kilometres into space. This patch is surrounded by grey areas denuded of vegetation (i.e. ‘normal’ suburbia). The green area forms an outline of Blackburn and parts of surrounding suburbs including Nunawading, Blackburn North, Blackburn South and Forest Hill. This oasis in suburbia is, of course, our much-valued ‘green patch’ that was considered so worthy of fighting for over the past sixty years.

The tree society has been instrumental in supporting the election of ‘green’ councillors, has actively promoted the planting of indigenous plants and published regular newsletters, plant guide booklets and an indigenous plants poster.

In the early to mid-1980s, the Society was instrumental in the creation of the Special Residential Zone (now the Significant Landscape Overlay No. 1) in Blackburn with its tree control provisions and has provided crucial support for establishing community Bushland Park Advisory Committees unique to Whitehorse.

Tree Society Email Address

The tree society committee can be contacted at bdtpsociety@gmail.com for any tree-related matter within Whitehorse.

Tree Society Meeting Times

The tree society committee meets every second Wednesday of the month from 2-4 p.m. in February, March, May, July, September and November. General meetings are scheduled for June and October. The AGM is held in November of each year. The location is Bungalook Nursery in Fulton Road, Blackburn South. Tree society members and the general public are most welcome to attend tree society meeting.

Join the Tree Society now by downloading the  Membership Form

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