The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital's annual koala food tree giveaway is on again.
The giveaway will continue until the end of April or until all the trees are gone.
Following the devastating bush fires that swept up and down the east coast of Australia in 2019 and the recent floods in our region, helping regenerate bushland is a priority for the hospital.
From the start of the 2019 fire season, many lives were lost, a staggering 18.6 million hectares were burned, and in NSW alone, by the end of January 2020, the fires had burnt 5.3 million hectares (6.7 per cent of the state), including 2.7 million hectares in national parks (37 per cent of the state's national park estate).
The fires created unprecedented damage, destroying land and property, killing people, an estimated 3 billion animals and destroying habitat.
The floods that devastated the Mid North Coast region just a week ago also caused damage to habitat already under pressure.
Scott Castle, Koala Hospital conservation manager, said the fires in late 2019 and early 2020 and the recent floods, caused unprecedented loss of habitat.
"This year's giveaway aims to go some way to regenerating and connecting existing habitats. Land holders can take up to 40 trees in each of four different varieties and we'll provide advice on how to plant and care for the trees," Mr Castle said.
This year's program, a joint initiative between the Koala Hospital and NSW Forestry Corporation, will offer 25,000 trees, with four different species to suit different soil and habitat locations.
Tallowwood, Grey Gum, Forest Red Gum and Swamp Mahogany are available from the Koala Hospital in Macquarie Nature Reserve, Lord Street, Port Macquarie.
During the giveaway, a volunteer from the Koala Hospital will be on hand at the hospital to hand out trees.
A tree planting guide on how and where to plant and general after care instructions are available online at www.koalahospital.org.au with diagrams and photos showing tree planting and care to help trees survive.
"If we can engage the wider community in planting koala food trees, the Koala Hospital will achieve a major goal in regenerating habitat," Mr Castle said.
"People who take trees will be asked to provide their details and the planting location so, in the future, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital can contact them if we need extra food (browse) for koalas in its care."
Interested people, a school, private or public land holder, anyone in the community with some open space for tree planting, can visit the Koala Hospital between 10am and 2pm Monday to Saturday to collect some trees.
Up to 40 trees of each variety can be picked up from the Koala Hospital.
Larger quantities, over 40 trees, need to be ordered online at www.koalahospital.org.au
Land holders can register online and pick up trees.
People needing smaller numbers can drop into the Koala Hospital and pick up as many trees as they need.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: