Nature strips play an important role in the aesthetic, environmental and social health of our municipality. As well as being a buffer between pedestrians and vehicle traffic, they can also add to the character of streetscapes by creating space for street trees and vegetation.

The City regularly receives requests and questions from residents and businesses for permission to plant within a nature strip. We need to make sure our nature strips are safe and that risks to people, assets and property are minimised. We balance this with the community's need and desire for greener spaces. These guidelines provide an overview of how we manage that balance by explaining what can and can't be added to nature strips.

The draft guidelines have been created to provide clear direction and suitable options for those interested in developing nature strip gardens alongside City-managed local roads.

These guidelines will help interested community members understand what is possible, and also consider the safety and legal factors associated with creating a garden in a public space. It will assist community members to plan, prepare and create the most successful garden they can.


We’ve heard from the community and stakeholders that the current nature strip guidelines no longer reflect the desire of the community. As part of the review, we identified three key opportunity areas:

  • Flexibility in design, materials and species within the nature strips
  • Consideration of food / edible gardens
  • Considerations for more broad design choices such as raised planter beds

The current guidelines have been updated to incorporate these themes.


  • To provide clear advice and options about modifying and maintaining nature strips and developing nature strip gardens.
  • To clarify the rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in nature strip gardens.
  • To provide guidance on permitted and restricted plantings.
  • To establish a framework for governing nature strip gardens, which incorporates a transparent process for managing community concerns.
  • To enhance biodiversity that contributes to healthy ecosystems.
  • To maximise landscapes, liveability, and community health and wellbeing.

Find out more and share your feedback

We are now seeking community input to better understand how our draft guidelines can be improved, enabling us to support our community in the development and maintenance of nature strip gardens.

Please provide your feedback via our online survey below or request a hard copy by contacting the officer listed in the Contact Us section of this page or by visiting a Customer Service centre.

We recommend you read the draft Nature Strip Guidelines prior to leaving your feedback.

Read our guidelines and provide your feedback.

Survey closes 5pm Sunday 9 June, 2024.

  • Meet the Project Team

    Two informations sessions were held at Wurriki Nyal (Civic Precinct), 137-149 Mercer Street, Geelong on the following dates

    • Thursday 16 May, 10.00-11.00am
    • Wednesday 22 May, 5.30-6.30pm

Frequently Asked Questions

In Victoria, the term 'nature strip' means a strip of lawn that runs between the roadway and the footpath. In other parts of Australia this area is known as a 'verge'.

We own the nature strip but residents and landowners are responsible for maintaining it. The resident or landowner must ensure that the nature strip is in a safe and tidy condition.

The resident or landowner is responsible for maintaining the nature strip, including weeding, mowing and removing rubbish, fallen leaves, sticks and tree bark.

Street trees are planted and owned by the City. These trees have been planted to shade and cool our streets for the entire community. Please be careful when establishing a nature strip garden around a street tree and minimise any damage to the tree or its roots. If you have any concerns in relation to a street tree please contact our Tree Management team on 5272 5272.

Please submit a request for tree planting on your nature strip or in your street via our website or call customer service on 5272 5272.

Road Rules Victoria prohibits vehicles parking on the nature strip unless parking control signs are installed permitting the parking or the local road authority gives permission. Nature strip includes any grassed or landscaped area in the road reserve.

Any part of the public highway not set aside for vehicles is covered by the footway parking ban. This includes grass verges, central reservations, ramps linking private property to the road and pedestrian crossings.

Paths, nature strips and dividing strips are not constructed for vehicle parking. Parking on them can damage the nature strip surface, trees and root systems, kerb and channel, paths, house drain connections and other underground services.

We are responsible for maintaining local roads. Regional Roads Victoria is responsible for main roads, highways and bridges. A list of roads managed by Regional Roads Victoria is published on our Roads and responsible authorities webpage.

Edible and fruit bearing plants are permitted as long as they fit within the requirements for approved plantings, please refer to page 21 for considerations. We recommend you undertake soil testing of the nature strip to identify pollutants and suitability before growing edible plants.

Nature Strips often contain services above and below ground, such as electricity, water, sewer and telecommunications cables. You should therefore request a Dial Before You Dig report before you break ground. Find out more at www.1100.com.au.

If your nature strip has a service cabinet, fireplug, utility service pit or pole, a bus stop pole, or even a letterbox, you need to leave appropriate clearances around these services (refer images on pages 16-17).