Kensington’s urban forest hero

A Kensington apartment complex is about to be transformed from a vast, gloomy expanse of concrete into a lush, green, community space thanks to our Urban Forest Fund.

Milla Mihailova saw great potential in the communal area of her Howlett Street home and – with more than a little creativity and enthusiasm – rallied her neighbours to agree to a bold plan.

‘I am most looking forward to the Australian native garden in the sunken courtyard, which will highlight the existing beautiful old Eucalyptus tree,’ Milla said.

‘I’m hoping it will bring in wildlife and create a tranquil bushland feel where people can sit and relax, and disguise the fact that we live off a very busy main road.

‘I am most looking forward to the Australian native garden in the sunken courtyard, which will highlight the existing beautiful old Eucalyptus tree.’

‘I am also excited to give the main entranceway of the property a whole new facade. The bamboo forest, colourful trees and new vegetation in the top garden beds will remove that feeling of stepping into yet another urbanised concrete jungle apartment block and instead into a luscious and green oasis.’

A keen gardener, Milla initially raised the simple idea of starting up community veggie gardens. But, thanks to the Urban Forest Fund, bigger plans soon took shape.

‘The Urban Forest Fund gave us the ambition and push to plan out what we would like to do with our communal spaces. Before the fund, no one had stopped to think that we could do more with our shared spaces than simply using them as pathways,’ Milla said.

‘Secondly, and most importantly, the Urban Forest Fund gave us the financial ability to actually complete our plans. Without the fund, it would have taken probably several years to raise the required funds and people most likely would have lost the drive to continue.’

The greening project has many benefits for wildlife, water management and cooling, but Milla believes it will also make a real difference to the lives of people who live in the 45 apartments at the complex.

‘By far, the biggest reward will come when we see the greening works complete – when we can fully enjoy and appreciate our new green spaces,’ Milla said.

‘I think it will dramatically improve the community feel of the area and encourage neighbours to go outside and get to know each other.’

Got an idea for a greening project on private property? Applications for the next round of the Urban Forest Fund are open now and close on 22 October. For successful projects, the Urban Forest Fund will match the applicant’s investment dollar for dollar.

To find out more, visit Urban Forest Fund.

A woman smiling

Milla Mihailova at the complex