Like many of the parks in Marrickville LGA, the trees of Camperdown Memorial Park in Newtown are growing mostly around the perimeter.

Two weekends ago on Sunday 18th September,  a large crowd gathered to participate in the No Coal Seam Gas Mining Rally.  I watched with interest as the people chose to crowd together in the available shade under a few trees leaving large expanses of grass empty, except for people walking through.  It was 11am, just 2 weeks into spring with the summer heat ahead of us.

People need shade.  They need shade in parks, in playgrounds, on the streets & in shopping areas.  As our seasons get hotter Council will need to reassess their approach to shade creation in public spaces.  It will become harder to grow new trees & retain older trees unless their water needs are met.

Many cities in the US are already changing the species of trees they plant so they can have a decent & functioning urban forest by 2030.  They are also changing how & where they plant public trees so as to provide the maximum benefit to both people & infrastructure as well as to ensure survival of their urban forest & the wildlife that relies on the urban forest for food & habitat.

It’s hard to ignore the need for shade when you watch a crowd in a public space on a sunny day.

As the crowd grew it became harder to fit under the trees so people were forced to stand in the sun

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