The Upfield Shared Path runs along the Upfield trainline between Royal Park and Gowrie train station. Despite its high use by bike riders, joggers, the elderly, people pushing prams and school children, much of it is a treeless waste land, scattered with bottles, rubbish and used spray-paint cans. On windy days rubbish flies into people's eyes. On grey days the bleak concrete setting inspires misery. On sunny days, the unrelenting sun blasts weary commuters cycling home.
But things are changing....(have you noticed?)
As a safe bike riding space... many parts of the bike path have serious issues. This has led members of the community to get active... including, for example, by starting a petition directed at the council. Many parts of the bike path are now slowly being improved to increase bike riding safety. (Check out Moreland BUG if you're interested)
But what about the area as a green space? Well..at the official level... only a tiny bit... due to tricky ownership issues, even Moreland City Council can't do too much...this means that the real transformation, really needs....us. All of us... ie you, too.
This is a space that needs trees, flowers, green-walls, food forests, vegetable gardening, art, sculptures. We need tree filled shady boulevards, we need art that connects us back to the Indigenous roots of this land, we need cool spaces where kids can pick food on their way to school, where people and life can flourish. As the effects of climate change set it, we need beautiful spaces that cool us, store water, increase food security and help to draw carbon out of the atmosphere. It is time that we, the people, create the urban forest we need. Fortunately people have already started.
This website aims to document the community led green transformation of the Upfield shared path and to inspire more people to get involved.
Moreland City Council 's 2012-2022 Street Landscape Strategy says:
"Urban trees also offer other indirect human health benefits. Tree lined streets are more attractive and more shaded during the hotter times of the year. Such pleasant streetscapes can promote active forms of transport. Moreland encourages walking and cycling within the municipality as physical activity is linked to improved health. Priority pedestrian routes have been mapped as part of the structure plans for the Activity Centres and the Principal Pedestrian Network Program for Moreland. Street landscaping should be prioritised to compliment these designated routes." (p15)
Moreland City Council has recent done an urban heat island study...showing that much of Moreland will continue to face extreme heat stress and that this will get worse.
Along with ceasing our carbon dioxide and methane emissions, we urgently need to get active in planting cooling urban forests. Check out and contribute to our forest blog for more information on this and other topics.
We will transform the Upfield shared path and greens spaces either side of the trainline into a safe beautiful urban forest...a place where users can experience tranquility, shade, inspiration and connectedness. Come and join in with the transformation.