On the verge with Josh Byrne

20 February 2019

Yes, we're talking verges and we want your input. Lawns, street trees, turf, gardens, water efficiency and the rest.

You're invited to a free discussion on 20 February 2019 at the Cockburn Bowling and Recreation Centre where Gardening Australia's Dr Josh Byrne and forest pathologist Dr Paul Barber will share their thoughts and seek your input.

Our street verges can offer many benefits to the community and our environment -- from cooling the air around our homes, to providing shelter and habitat provision for wildlife protection and creating a sense of pride via improved public amenity -- all of which help increase or maintain property values.

Verges are defined as a portion of Crown land that lies between the edge of a road and the adjacent property line. However residents in the City of Cockburn are encouraged to take "ownership" of their verges to beautify, maintain and improve.

Did you know that the City has a Street Verge Improvements Policy 2017 and supporting verge guidelines: Developing Your Verge: Guidelines for Good Design?

These documents provide advice and direction for residents about how to care for and enhance verges so that they contribute to a greener, cooler and more waterwise city. As well as supporting the City’s Urban Forest Strategy, the policy provides direction on safety and accessibility within the streetscape.

The City is now reviewing and updating this policy to provide further advice and direction to residents, particularly residents in new developments who may be unsure about what they can do and how to go about making improvements. The review includes an analysis of best practice initiatives in other councils.

To ensure that the policy continues to provide practical best practice guidance in line with community expectations it is critical that residents are given the opportunity to provide input into this review. The information received from this feedback process will be added to the research findings and used to inform the revised policy.

Have your say

  • Attend the free discussion - 5.30pm for 6pm start, Wednesday 20 February 2019 Cockburn Bowling and Recreation Centre, 40 Birchley Road, Yangebup. Finishes at 7.30pm. RSVP below.
    Josh Byrne, the West Australian presenter of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia will detail inspirational and practical considerations on how to better use our streetscapes.
    Dr. Paul Barber, Director, ArborCarbon, will discuss the importance of urban forests and their part in a green and connected Perth.
  • Share your ideas below by Friday 1 March 2019
  • Send an email to Community Engagement Officer Deanie Carbon at comment@cockburn.wa.gov.au by Friday 1 March 2019.

20 February 2019

Yes, we're talking verges and we want your input. Lawns, street trees, turf, gardens, water efficiency and the rest.

You're invited to a free discussion on 20 February 2019 at the Cockburn Bowling and Recreation Centre where Gardening Australia's Dr Josh Byrne and forest pathologist Dr Paul Barber will share their thoughts and seek your input.

Our street verges can offer many benefits to the community and our environment -- from cooling the air around our homes, to providing shelter and habitat provision for wildlife protection and creating a sense of pride via improved public amenity -- all of which help increase or maintain property values.

Verges are defined as a portion of Crown land that lies between the edge of a road and the adjacent property line. However residents in the City of Cockburn are encouraged to take "ownership" of their verges to beautify, maintain and improve.

Did you know that the City has a Street Verge Improvements Policy 2017 and supporting verge guidelines: Developing Your Verge: Guidelines for Good Design?

These documents provide advice and direction for residents about how to care for and enhance verges so that they contribute to a greener, cooler and more waterwise city. As well as supporting the City’s Urban Forest Strategy, the policy provides direction on safety and accessibility within the streetscape.

The City is now reviewing and updating this policy to provide further advice and direction to residents, particularly residents in new developments who may be unsure about what they can do and how to go about making improvements. The review includes an analysis of best practice initiatives in other councils.

To ensure that the policy continues to provide practical best practice guidance in line with community expectations it is critical that residents are given the opportunity to provide input into this review. The information received from this feedback process will be added to the research findings and used to inform the revised policy.

Have your say

  • Attend the free discussion - 5.30pm for 6pm start, Wednesday 20 February 2019 Cockburn Bowling and Recreation Centre, 40 Birchley Road, Yangebup. Finishes at 7.30pm. RSVP below.
    Josh Byrne, the West Australian presenter of ABC TV’s Gardening Australia will detail inspirational and practical considerations on how to better use our streetscapes.
    Dr. Paul Barber, Director, ArborCarbon, will discuss the importance of urban forests and their part in a green and connected Perth.
  • Share your ideas below by Friday 1 March 2019
  • Send an email to Community Engagement Officer Deanie Carbon at comment@cockburn.wa.gov.au by Friday 1 March 2019.

Hello. We're reviewing our verge policy and welcome your comments or questions here. We will answer your questions as soon as possible and post the answers here.

Q&A

  • A tree should not be optional but mandatory on the verge.

    Sofdemey asked 18 days ago

    This is a contentious one. When we survey residents each year they strongly encourage the planting of more trees and we're on board with that.

  • I'd love to be able to plant water wise ground cover instead of lawn in the 1.5m setback from the kerb. Is there any chance the City will consider this in their revisions to the verge policy? Specifically I am thinking of things like hemiandra pungens, keneddia prostrata, carpobrotus, Enchylaena tomentosa. Perhaps the City could even include a list of acceptable species (and varieties). I'd love to be able to plant shrubs near my fence on my deep verge. The current policy doesn't allow this although the engineering department has assessed my verge as being safe with shrubs present in terms of line of sight. The City's verge policy used to include a series of allowable plants depending on the distance from the kerb (and line of sight). These shrubs are important for small birds which have been massively displaced in the metro area. Larger birds are happy to occupy taller trees, but small birds require the cover of dense shrubs and our current landscaping preference for low ground covers or grass with intermittent tall trees misses out this important habitat type.

    Lou Corteen asked 18 days ago

    You seem to know your plants! Glad to have you on board for this project Lou.

  • Why is fake lawn allowed when other impermeable surfaces are not? They are hot and ugly. They're not water wise insofar as they do not comply with water sensitive urban design principles. I would fully support the City changing the verge policy to stop allowing fake lawns. I am not suggesting home owners with existing fake lawn should be forced to pull them up, simply that going forward they should not be allowed under the verge policy. I understand this will be difficult to police but the City has a responsibility to lead the community as well as to work for it. If new home owners are seeking guidance on verge treatments, the banning of fake lawn with a good explanation will be helpful to the City and future generations in so far as it will encourage alternatives that are more water sensitive and cooler.

    Lou Corteen asked 18 days ago

    Those residents who like water-sensitive and low heat gardens steer away from fake lawns. Thanks for your suggestion.

  • Why the 600mm rule? Its overly restrictive - its more important to specify that sight lines are maintained. such as city of bayswater do ... http://www.bayswater.wa.gov.au/cproot/6159/2/Street-Verge-Policy-24022017.pdf Also why are street trees allowed (and provided by council), yet only shrubs (<600m high!) can be planted on peoples verges by people - this seems an inconsistent standard. The council website acknowledges the benefit of tress for amenity, wind breaks, heat island mitigation etc, yet the current verge policy does not support this. Raised veggie beds should be allowed as long as sufficiently set back and not interfering with sight lines. Again the city of bayswater has a more outcomes based (eg maintain sight lines) approach to specification.

    mattyoga asked 18 days ago

    Food for thought! We're looking at what other local governments do and can harvest the best ideas.

  • Has Cockburn considered giving interested and committed residents a one-off grant of (say) $100 to get their verge gardens established? I am considering a verge garden but the cost would be considerable even once established. The criteria could include the condition of the resident's existing garden.

    Fiona61 asked 5 days ago

    Thank you for this idea. What do other people think?