Campbelltown East Public School plants koala feed trees

Campbelltown East Public School students plant koala feed trees near Smith's Creek Reserve as part of the Koalatown initiative. Picture: Campbelltown Council
Campbelltown East Public School students plant koala feed trees near Smith's Creek Reserve as part of the Koalatown initiative. Picture: Campbelltown Council

The school population at Campbelltown East Public School might be getting a boost soon - but the new pupils aren't going to be the best learners.

Hundreds of new trees were planted on the school grounds near Smith's Creek Reserve last week in a bid to provide more koala habitat in the region.

The tree planting day was part of Campbelltown Council's Koalatown initiative.

A further 17 schools have also signed on to the program.

The trees planted were specific koala habitat and food trees, fitting in perfectly next to the reserve which is a regular koala movement corridor.

Campbelltown East assistant principal Martin Wallace said the planting was a great day for the school and kindergarten to year 6 were all involved.

"We planted grey gums which we ordered from the council," he said.

"All those plants are endemic to the Cumberland Plain and ideal for the species to be growing in that area.

"They're one of the main food sources for koalas. Some we'll allow to grow to full size and a few others we'll cut back, prune them down, and use them as a food source.

"The council mentioned WIRES rescue required food sources, so they'll be able to use the foliage from the plants."

Mr Wallace said the students were very engaged with the project.

"The kids loved it," he said.

"We want to get the kids involved in more than just classroom activity, and that engagement outdoors enhances what they're learning in the classroom."

Mr Wallace said the school's garden area continued to grow and now included an Anzac section as well.

He said the school's approach to outdoor learning was all about sustainbility.

"Unless this type of activity is interwoven in the fabric of the school, it just dies off," Mr Wallace said.

"Hopefully we've created something that will continue and is part of a bigger picture.

"This is more than just koalas, it's about environment, tradition, culture and all that sort of thing."

Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic said it was important to bring young people on board in the fight to save koalas.

"Engaging local schools and students to build awareness about the importance of our local koalas is a core part of our Koalatown program," he said.

"Our aim is to inspire the next generation to help us to take meaningful actions that will protect and conserve koalas.

"The trees planted at the school will enhance the existing habitat at the nearby Smith's Creek Reserve."

The planting at Campbelltown East followed a similar event at Ingleburn Reserve earlier this year, as part of the Strategic koala Revegetation project, jointly funded by the council and the federal government's 20 Million Trees program.

Cr Brticevic said he was grateful for the assistance of everyone who took part in both days.

"Thank you to everyone in our community who joined in the tree planting event at Ingleburn Reserve," he said.

"We look forward to welcoming more people next year when Covid restrictions are eased."

This story Campbelltown East Public School plants koala feed trees first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.