Enhance your CommuniTree

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Communities are the backbone of New Zealand living, providing support when family and friends are unable to. So what better way to support your community than plant more trees and help tidy up and maintain local parks and community green spaces?

We all understand that plants look attractive. But dig a little deeper beneath their beauty and you'll discover how plants can and already do enhance communities. Recent research (www.plantlifebalance.com.au) shows that plants benefits communities in the following ways:

  • Positive perception change
  • Privacy and security
  • Enhanced property values.
  • Noise reduction
  • Air cleansing

Planting trees and enhancing green spaces is one of the most cost-effective methods for changing a community’s perception of certain areas. Simply by planting, brightening and lightening previously undesirable or unsafe areas, a community can be transformed into a safe and friendly neighbourhood environment.

Research by BASF Plant Science suggests that houses surrounded by well-maintained plants are and gardens are 33% less likely to be targets of crime than buildings with un-kept gardens or no gardens at all. Further these plants provide a natural security screen giving you the privacy you deserve.

As communities grow together so to do the property and land values. Homes with well-presented easy to manage gardens sell in less time, due to the fact that the home is perceived to be more valuable and desirable to potential home-buyers.  

If the community buzz is getting a bit loud, plant a hedge fence around your property. Hedges are visually appealing, are graffiti proof and can provide an effective sound barrier. Tests have revealed that an established four foot high hedge can reduce the ambient noise by up to 50 decibels.

And, of course, plants help improve the air quality by removing Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs from the air, effectively cleaning it. So the more plants around us, the cleaner the air we breathe and that’s got to be good for everyone.

It’s time to get involved. Visit a local community garden this weekend and offer to help out with the gardening and maintenance. It’s a great way to meet your community and the benefits returned are continuous. If there is not a community garden near you, look for a suitable space. Then approach your local Council to enquire about converting the space into a community garden.

For a list of community gardens please visit http://good.net.nz/magazine/community-gardens.


First published in Weekend Gardener issue 375. Written by NGINZ. Reproduced with permission of Weekend Gardener.



Enhance your CommuniTree