The latest stage of the Greening the West project kicked off last week, with the first of 60,000 new trees planted in Sunshine.

The project, involving Brimbank and five other councils, started in 2015 with the aim of planting one million new trees in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

So far, 90,000 trees have been planted, with the final stage now under way to increase the tree canopy in Brimbank and help mitigate the effects of heat waves.

Brimbank mayor John Hedditch said the project was a key part of the council’s approach to climate change. It plans to increase canopy cover in Brimbank from 6.2 per cent to 30 per cent in the next 30 years.

“All over Brimbank we are planting trees to shade and cool our city in order to mitigate the creeping impacts of climate change,” Cr Hedditch said. “It’s important that our community has good access to quality open space and we have good tree canopies.”

Keilor golf course will gain the biggest greening from the project, with 20,000 new trees to be planted at the course, while Nancy Whiteside Reserve in Sunshine West will receive 10,656 trees in this round of planting.

The Greening the West project is a key part of council’s long term Urban Forest Strategy, which includes protecting existing trees, integrating grasslands with open space and reducing the effects of urban heat islands by encouraging innovative building designs.

“We want to see innovative designs in Brimbank that balance nature and built form so that our city becomes even more liveable,” Cr Hedditch said.