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Nature strips

Nature strip means an area between a road and adjacent land but does not include the shoulder of a road or a bicycle path, footpath or shared path. A nature strip can be a grassed area or piece of land between the paved footpath and the kerb. A Nature strip is public land that residents who own the property next to the strip need to maintain.

We aim keep improving the street landscape in Merri-bek through our Urban Forest Strategy 2017-27 (DOC 20Mb). This includes nature strips and street trees.

Maintaining your nature strip

Residents need to maintain the nature strip in front of their home. You must maintain your nature strip. 

This involves mowing, weeding, trimming nature strip edges and picking up litter. It is a littering offence to blow or sweep your clippings into the road or drain.

Pedestrians need to be able to use the entire width of a footpath for accessibility.

  • Some nature strips will change height as they grow or erode. We can assist you with getting them back to their original height if this happens.

    If your nature strip has sunk 40mm below or rises over 50mm past footpath height let us know. You can email us at or call us on 9240 1111. We will investigate these nature strips and restore them where needed.

    We usually carry out work to restore nature strips in May, September or October. This allows us to take advantage of cooler conditions when grass grows well.

Growing plants in your nature strip

We plant and maintain the street trees in nature strips through our tree care and maintenance program. We encourage residents to plant native plants or vegetables in your nature strip in line with the Nature Strip Guidelines.

There are a few benefits to growing your own plants in your nature strip, including:

  • Residents who plant in their nature strip get a sense of ownership over this area. This can also extend to the community.
  • Nature strips with indigenous plants enhance biodiversity. This can provide habitat for local insects and birds. This can work especially well close to local waterways and along nature corridors.
  • Having a well-designed nature strip can reduce the amount of maintenance it needs.

We recommend you read our Nature strip Guidelines document (PDF 293Kb) if you are thinking about improving your nature strip. This will help you plan, choose suitable plants, and let you know how to plant and maintain them.

You can also find helpful information on our Gardening and food production page.

If you have any questions about your nature strip then please email us at or give us a call on 9240 1111.

Reporting illegal parking on your nature strip

Parking on a nature strip is illegal in Merri-bek. This can damage services that run under nature strips. This includes water and gas supply lines, storm water pipes, and other services. It can also reduce visibility for drivers who are entering or leaving a driveway.

You can report illegal parking on a nature strip.