Storms, floods and droughts – managing open spaces can be a costly business.
Information released recently by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology reveals that Benalla Rural City will have more very hot days and longer heatwaves, a likely decrease in annual rainfall, and more heavy short downpours and damaging storms.
This means more stress on parks and gardens and increased maintenance and clean-up activities.
The Council, in partnership with Alpine Shire, is implementing the “Rec-Less – less water, less often, more resilient open spaces” project to better manage our open spaces in a time of climate change.
To help it with the project, the Council has issued a survey asking the community for feedback about what features of community open spaces are important.
The community survey will help the Council to understand how climate change can be addressed with minimal impact on how the community uses and enjoys open spaces, which for this project include parks and gardens the Council directly manages, not tracks and trails or natural forested areas.
“Climate change means we are likely to have less water available in the future to irrigate open spaces,” said Mayor Cr Justin King.
“Trees, gardens and turf areas may have to cope with high winds and a higher rainfall run-off. We need to make sure open spaces are resilient to stress and to shocks to avoid significant future maintenance costs,” he said.
The Rec-Less project will prioritise open spaces for irrigation purposes and will ensure that the species planted in open spaces are hardy and resilient to climate change. A showcase garden and a Benalla Rural City plant guide will be developed to help residents choose plants that grow well locally and are well suited to be hardy in the face of climate change.
Fill in the Rec-Less Community Survey here. Paper surveys are available from the Customer Service Centre and the Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop Learning Centre.
Rec-Less is funded with the support of the Victorian Government through the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership.