Community gardens are an increasingly popular community-based activity for growing food collectively and locally. The ACT Government has developed the Guide to Community Gardens in the ACT to assist members of the public who are considering establishing a community garden. The Guide provides the policy context for community gardens and outlines the approval process and the criteria that should be considered when assessing proposed sites for new community gardens. In most cases TCCS is responsible for issuing and managing licences for community gardens on public unleased land.
Why do we have street trees?
Street trees are aesthetically pleasing, enhance property values and contribute to a range of environmental benefits. A specific tree type is generally selected for each street and this provides the street with its own landscape character.
Who looks after street trees?
The ACT Government is responsible for all maintenance of street trees (excluding wattles) whether they are formal Government plantings or private plantings. It is common practice that the maintenance of shrubs and wattles is conducted by the adjacent lessee.
Parks and Territory Services (PATS) periodically checks and carries out any necessary pruning, removal and replacement of street trees planted on your nature strip. If you wish to remove any trees that you or a previous lessee have planted on the nature strip, you are required to obtain written approval from TCCS prior to removal.
If you have an enquiry about a street tree, please contact TCCS via Access Canberra on 13 22 81. If necessary the tree will be assessed and any required action taken. If you do not have a street tree and would like one planted, contact PATS via Access Canberra on 13 22 81. Remember that you are required to seek approval if you wish to plant any trees on the nature strip.
How do I look after my nature strip?
Grass or ground covers should be maintained at an acceptable level and should not exceed half a metre in height to ensure it does not cause a line of sight problem or a fire hazard.
Foliage on the nature strip, or foliage growing out from your lease that overhangs a public footpath, must be pruned to maintain a minimum height of 2 metres above footpaths and to be in line with the edge of the footpath (this includes hedges and groundcovers). For safety purposes it is a requirement that pedestrians must have access to the entire width of the footpath.
A strip of grass or stable surface must be maintained at a minimum of 1.2 metres wide from the back of the kerb to facilitate garbage/recycling collections as well as pedestrian access directly off the roadway, even if a footpath exists near your lease boundary.
Foliage or structures must not interfere with the line of sight of motorists, pedestrians or cyclists when using, entering or exiting an intersection, driveway or footpath.
You may landscape your nature strip however approval is generally required.
Please see Your nature strip - guidelines for use of residential nature strips (PDF 5.5MB) (Word version 13.6MB) for further details.
Can I landscape my nature strip?
Your nature strip - guidelines for use of residential nature strips (PDF 5.5MB) (Word version 13.6MB) contain more information about the types of activities which can be undertaken on the nature strip (with or without approval) as well as those activities that are prohibited.
The guidelines also outline the roles and responsibilities of both the ACT Government and residents in maintaining the nature strip.
If approval is required and for more information, please Use this form to apply to develop or place objects on a nature strip in the ACT.
Download the nature strip development application (Word 764KB) (PDF 150KB)
When planning your landscaping options, consider the following:
- Landscape developments may include garden beds, rockeries, paving, shrubs, ground cover plants, tan bark or similar materials. Trees will only be approved if they match the landscape character of the street.
- Mulches, compacted granite or similar ground treatment must be stable and properly contained. Road drains at your home empty into our streams, lakes and the Murrumbidgee River without treatment. Care must be taken to ensure that the road, drains and footpaths are protected from such matter for environmental and safety purposes.
- You must also take into account the mature size of plants, to ensure they will not cause an obstruction for pedestrians or line of sight problems for motorists. Shrubs should not exceed 0.5 metres in height.
- Temporary protective fencing in areas where newly seeded soil or turf is located is permitted with approval, if constructed and maintained in a safe condition. Permanent fencing is not permitted.
- Will you be restricting or limiting access to in ground services by altering ground levels, constructing walls or planting trees and shrubs above them?
Can I park my car or store materials on the nature strip?
Approval is required for the temporary storage of building materials and any other objects on nature strips or other public unleased Territory land.
Download the application to use a public place for construction activities form (Word 110KB) (PDF 108KB).
Please be aware that the following activities or items are prohibited:
- parking or storing any type of vehicle or trailer on your nature strip (registered or unregistered or parts thereof);
- storing or placing any substance, material or objects on nature strips without written approval from TCCS;
- installing pavers or concrete or similar materials across nature strips without written approval from TCCS;
- erecting stone or brick walls or similar structures across nature strips without written approval from TCCS;
- pruning or removing any street trees; and
- allowing foliage to obstruct pedestrian access to footpaths or nature strips within 1.2 metres from the back of the kerb.
Exceptions to nature strip maintenance
In certain circumstances the nature strip may be maintained by the ACT Government. Examples of this include:
- Where a nature strip fronts unleased Territory land such as a laneway or park, the lessee is only responsible for maintaining the nature strip in line with their property boundary not the laneway or park land.
- Shopping centres where an alternative arrangement has been made with PATS.