Volunteers needed to pant koala 'habitat' trees at Cook Park, Ruse

Sitting pretty: Brett Mezen took this fabulous picture of a koala in Smith's Creek near Ruse a few weeks ago.
Sitting pretty: Brett Mezen took this fabulous picture of a koala in Smith's Creek near Ruse a few weeks ago.

Residents who care about Campbelltown's koala colony are invited to help plant 3000 'habitat' tree and shrubs in a key koala corridor at Ruse next month.

The planting will take place at Cook Park on Wild Koala Day, Saturday, May 4.

Campbelltown Council has organised the planting with support from Greening Australia and WWF Australia.

Mayor George Brticevic said the existing habitat corridor at the park was not wide enough.

"As a result, they are making their way into the suburbs and that's when they're at risk of a vehicle strike or dog attack," he said.

"Planting feed trees will help to keep females in the corridor and then hopefully in breeding season, there will be lots of koalas here in Cook Park."

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 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 programs.

This is the third year that the council is supporting Wild Koala Day.

Habitat heaven: Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic is urging locals to support a tree planting day at Cook Reserve on May 4.

Habitat heaven: Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic is urging locals to support a tree planting day at Cook Reserve on May 4.

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,"  Greening Australia program manager Michael Vyse said.

"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."