On the Verge of Something New

Nature strips are the piece of land outside a property that lies between the footpath and the street. They can contribute to the look and feel of a house and even a whole street. Typically grassed with street trees in the middle or simply a grassed area, because they are generally on public land, Council is obliged to ensure they are safe environments.

Along with enhancing street appeal, nature strips can house important infrastructure such as drainage for stormwater and wastewater, which Council also needs to ensure remains protected and accessible.

It is the responsibility of the tenant or home-owner, however, to maintain any nature strip outside their house.

We know with properties these days having smaller gardens or in some cases no garden at all, some community members have been eyeing up nature strips up as an alternative option to grow their own flowers, fruit and vegetables and increase biodiversity in their area.

In Maribyrnong, we have a set of guidelines that provide direction for residents wanting to plant out the nature strip in front of their residence, subject to receipt of a permit, issued by Council. The permit is free.

As these guidelines are now over 10 years old, we have started work to review and update them.

Initial conversation in early 2023

The first community conversation sought views of nature strips generally and asked for ideas on how they should be developed in the future. We also wrote to current permit holders with additional questions on the permit process, specifically.

Almost 250 responses were received:

  • the majority believed nature strips contribute to the look and feel of a street through colour/visual pleasure
  • there was almost unanimous support for greater use of nature strips
  • respondents would like to see more plants, more trees and more vegetable gardens

What's next?

Council is using your feedback, along with technical and specialist advice, to help inform an updated Nature Strip Landscape Policy and Guidelines document, which will be shared with the community for feedback in early 2024.

To stay up-to-date on the project, click the 'follow' button at the top of the page.

grasses and a gum tree on a nature strip

Note: images on this page are not in keeping with the existing guidelines which require plants to be pruned to a height of no more than 50 cm and not protrude onto pathways, driveways, or beyond the back of kerb.


Share your views and stories on nature strips

Image of a historical building with a well maintained nature strip out the front with natives and tough plants.