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Wollongong City Council

Tiny Forests

We’re bringing the benefits of forests to our suburbs.

We're planting a few Tiny Forests across Wollongong as a trial to make better use of some of our outdoor spaces.

These small spaces are designed to deliver big impact.

Key features:

  • Small footprint (as small as a tennis court)
  • Filled with a diverse mix of native plants normally found in the wild, and suited to local growing conditions
  • Closely planted (3-5 plants per square metre)
  • Plants are selected to replicate the layers of a forest (e.g. a bottom layer, understory, canopy and emergent layer).

The soil is carefully prepared before planting. The site is maintained in the early years to help these forests mature in record time – growing in as little as 10 years, compared with up to 70 years it takes a forest to restore.

By swapping grass with a range of plants and trees, these multi-layered forests create 30 times more green surface area than grass alone.

Tiny Forests can still thrive in busy, polluted, built-up areas where they can offer many benefits including:

  • Provide shade and cool the air
  • Help maintain clean air and water
  • Provide habitat for animals and insects
  • Restore local biodiversity
  • Create a buffer to reduce noise
  • Absorb carbon dioxide to reduce the impact of global warming
  • Becoming a self-sustaining system with less maintenance.

They are just one part of Council’s Urban Greening Program to create a more liveable future.

Tarrawanna - Harrigan Park

Our first Tiny Forest is located at Harrigan Park, Tarrawanna. It was planted in June 2022 with the help of students from Tarrawanna Public School.

Plants selected for this Tiny Forest are representative of the locally occurring rainforest and sclerophyll forest species.

> View the Plant List

Keiraville - Wollongong Botanic Garden

This Tiny Forest at Wollongong Botanic Garden has been designed in the shape of lungs - a symbol of the fresh air it will bring, along with all the benefits of cooling the air, capturing carbon and creating habitat.

You'll find it next to the Madoline Street Car Park. See the Garden Map PDF, 76 KB. It was planted in August 2022 with the help of the Friends of Wollongong Botanic Garden volunteers.

Plants selected for this Tiny Forest are representative of the locally occurring plant species found along the coastal plain and foothills of Wollongong.

> View the Plant List for the southern side (coastal plain)

> View the Plant List for the northern side (foothills)

Dapto - 'The Green Patch'

This Tiny Forest is located on the corner of Western Ave and Cleveland Rd, Dapto and was planted with the help of students from Dapto High School in November 2022.

Plants selected are representative of the coastal plain plant community that occurs in the Dapto area, near low lying creek side areas such as Mullet Creek.

> View the Plant List

Future sites

We are currently researching future sites, with a focus on suburbs with low tree canopy cover.

We will work to prepare each site to make sure the soil is ready and filled with nutrients, ready to help the new plantings grow quickly, and find local community champions keen to get involved.

We’re contacting local schools and organisations close to each site about potential opportunities. Contact us if you’d like to get involved.

There are plenty of other ways to get involved by joining us in Community Greening.