Residents living near a koala colony will be encouraged to plant trees that extend the natural habitat into their backyards.
Council is undertaking its third year of tree planting within key koala habitats in the region and will be supported this year by Greening Australia and the WWF Australia for Wild Koala Day on May 4.
As part of the project more than 3,000 trees, shrubs and grasses beneficial to koalas will be planted in a key koala corridor at Cook Park, Ruse.
Campbelltown has one of the most significant colonies of koalas in New South Wales and one of the only ones that is disease free.
“The support of Greening Australia and WWF is a good indication that we are on the right path in Campbelltown to preserving and fostering habitats for our wild koalas,” said Mayor George Brticevic.
“The presence of koalas in significant numbers in our area is a great privilege for anyone living here, but equally a big responsibility to ensure the long-term sustainability of the colony,” Cr Brticevic said.
“Residents can play a part in fostering the koala habitat by planting the right trees in their neighbourhood and we will give them the information and tools to make that possible,” he said.
Council is actively engaged in discussions on a long-term koala management plan and has initiated various Bush-care groups and community education programmes.
This is the third year Council is supporting Wild Koala Day, and this year’s event will involve site preparation, planting of local natives including koala food trees and ongoing maintenance to enhance the Cook Park corridor which is a key link between the Georges River and Smiths Creek Reserve.
The Wild Koala Day event is being held at Cook Park, Ruse, from 2pm-5pm, Saturday, 4 May, and will tie into the upgrade of the Cook Park play space.
Species planted on the day will include koala specific eucalyptus trees, acacia, kunzea, lomandra and kangaroo grass.
The planting day is part of a larger project that will see Greening Australia mapping 100,000 ha of south west Sydney, including the Campbelltown local government area, to identify critical areas for koala habitat restoration on public and private land. WWF Australia is funding the work.
“This planting day is a great opportunity for people from Sydney to reconnect with nature and do something to help this iconic species thrive,” said Michael Vyse, Greening Australia Program Manager.
“It’s also a meaningful first step in a much bigger piece of work for the ongoing growth of the local koala population.
“The mapping we are doing will identify areas that would be most meaningful and functional as habitat for koalas if restored – like Cook Park where we are planting for Wild Koala Day.
“The results will enable residents in south west Sydney to actively contribute to regenerating core koala habitat corridors, in their community and in their own backyards.”
Council will also provide environmental education specific to koalas to local schools and will host a walk and talk and spotlighting animals of the night event in the evening of the planting day.