The Lions Club has launched a new program aimed at arresting the devastating decline in koala populations across the Mid-North Coast.
And they need community members to volunteer to help deliver the program.
The program will target schools in the Port Macquarie-Hastings and Kempsey Shire Council areas that fall within or near the local area of regional koala significance.
These are specific areas where koalas are known to exist and where growth in a healthy koala population has been possible because of available genetic diversity.
Called the Koala Smart School program, the initiative stems from the successful national koala convention held in Port Macquarie.
"We want to educate, inspire and drive change in the local community," Mr Bruce said.
"The program involves the region's private and public schools participating in the Koala Smart School program.
"Each participating school will receive an information pack which outlines threats to our koala population as well as possible solutions.
Each participating school will receive an information pack which outlines threats to our koala population as well as possible solutions.- Rob Bruce
"The program is designed to promote koala preservation and protection."
Participating schools will also receive a half metre high Hello Koalas Sculpture, Leo. Students will be encouraged to paint their koala.
Students will also be asked to create an essay in any format - written, video, poetic or some other artistic form - on how they would save the koalas.
The program will culminate in a public display of the koalas along with the schools' essay contributions.
There will also be a two-pronged judging process - including a peoples' choice.
The painted half-metre koalas will be returned to the schools for permanent display.
Mrs McGilchrist said volunteers will be needed to help deliver the program.
"It is hoped there will be one champion of the Koala Smart School program for each school with a counterpoint within each school who will liaise with our volunteers," she said.
"We are currently completing a Koala Smart School website which will act as an additional source of support and information."
Mrs McGilchrist said Lions has accepted the challenge to try and address what is shaping up to be a local environmental catastrophe.
For more information on the Koala Smart School program or to deliver the program contact Janice McGilchrist 0417 718 799 or Rob Bruce 0418 485 172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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