After the devastation of the Black Summer fires, Nerang conservationists planted 400 trees to produce food for koala and other native species – and favourable conditions means the harvest has been brought forward to the end of 2021.
With funding from 2020 Landcare Bushfire Recovery Grants, the Koala Fodder Farm allowed Watergum volunteers, in partnership with Wildcare and Country Paradise Parklands, to establish a fodder farm providing wildlife carers with enough to feed impacted species including koalas, gliders, possums and birds in the region.
And along with Watergum, eligible groups in regions impacted by the Black Summer fires – including SE Queensland – can land bushfire recovery grants up to $50,000 thanks to the new 2021 Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program.
“It’s incredible financial support like the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program which make it possible for our supporters to make a real difference in preserving our unique native species,” said Rosalinde Brinkman, Watergum
“Thanks to funding we received last year, we were able to install two fodder areas at Country Paradise Parklands and welcome 60 community members to help us plant it. We were fortunate that we were given mulch at no cost, more space to add extra food trees and amendments being put through so that the fodder farm now has irrigation to be able to provide top quality leaf to our native wildlife in care at all times.”
Despite delays owing to the COVID19 pandemic, the Koala Fodder Farm will be ready to harvest at the end of this year – much sooner than the predicted two to three year window.
“The project timeline was moved back due to COVID implications, but once installed with the rain and the help of many hands, the plantation has flourished,” Rosalinde said.
“Wildlife carers will be able to start harvesting koala food the end of 2021. It has furthermore become a real educational asset to the Parklands as well due to the education signage.
“With all the recent rain and irrigation the growth and survival rate has exceeded our expectations. Normally, a fodder farm needs at least two to three years to fully establish. However, this fodder farm has done so well that the first harvest is scheduled for the end of 2021.”
The 2021 Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grants program funding is now available with up to $50,000 grants accessible for groups and organisations participating in bushfire recovery activities and projects across regions impacted by the Black Summer bushfires, including SE Queensland, along with $300,000 for partnership projects.
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