The Lasting Environmental Gift from the 2018 Commonwealth Games
The 2018 Commonwealth Games spanned less than two weeks but the investment into the Gold Coast will last a lifetime, particularly for the environment.
More than 130,000 trees were planted across the city, a green makeover that has created a lasting legacy for residents.
Arbor Operations’ Peter Mumford said studies have shown trees have a positive, calming effect on our health and wellbeing and may have helped the Aussies with their impressive medal tally.
“Research has shown that being around trees or even just looking at foliage can significantly lower the stress hormone cortisol, and also have a beneficial effect on blood pressure, heart rate and the immune system.” Mr Mumford said.
“We all know vegetation releases oxygen and offsets carbon, but many people don’t realise the added value of this natural stress reliever,” he said.
“With studies finding the greater the canopy coverage, the bigger the psychological boost.”
“The Games Village alone had seven hectares of parklands and open space with 136,420 trees planted throughout the complex.”
“That’s in addition to the Gold Coast City Council’s greening program which has included even more tree plantings, a floral program, landscaping and significant streetscaping.”
“A lot of the plantings included quite advanced tree stock which adds even more to the city’s green screen, increases its cooling effect and sound dampening qualities not to mention the amenity value.”
“The Games put the Gold Coast on the world stage and this greening program as well as beautifying the city, has meant a net positive gain for its urban forest.”
The benefits of the going green for the Games included:
- Psychological boost: we all know you feel better after going for a walk in the park and studies have proven being around trees for just 20 minutes can lower the stress hormone cortisol by up to 13%, which could be helpful for everyone as 100,000 visitors flock to the city.
- Environmental benefit: Trees and vegetation improve the air quality for everyone, they act as a filter, release oxygen through photosynthesis, absorb CO2 which helps reduce the amounts contributing to climate change, and provide much needed shade resulting in reduced energy consumption.
- Enhanced liveability: The number of trees planted across the Gold Coast will have a lasting impact for residents, creating excellent sound dampening qualities to reduce traffic or neighbourhood noise, they’ll also provide wind breaks and help reduce glare.
- Water Saving: The canopy of trees capture up to 60% of rain, some of this is absorbed by the tree some transpires in the air and infiltrates the soil and returns to the water table, a great natural percolator that also reduces drainage and flooding issues.
“The Gold Coast’s greening program has not only enhanced the environment for visitors it will also contribute greatly to residents’ wellbeing and liveability.”
“I don’t think you have to be an expert to realise that long after the Games these trees are a wonderful legacy for the future.”
More information about the benefits of going green can be found at Arbor Operations.