Community rallies round to feed Myall Coast koalas

Adrienne Ingram, MKEG member, talking to a Tea Gardens resident.


HUNDREDS of new trees to feed local koalas will soon be growing around the Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest area following two successful giveaways of seedlings.

Over two Saturdays, Woody’s Nursery and Hunter Valley Providores in Tea Gardens hosted the annual koala food tree giveaway that has traditionally taken place during the Myall River Festival, which was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.

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Although this year’s giveaway was a month later than usual, volunteers from the Myall Koala and Environment Group (MKEG) were promised that the 200 koala feed trees people took away would be planted as soon as possible before the hotter weather arrives.

The trees were mainly dwarf Parramattensis, which koalas love but only grow up to four metres, perfect for urban yards because fully grown they don’t overhang people’s gutters.

A few swamp mahogany trees, another favourite with koalas, were given to people with larger properties as they grow to 30 meters.

It is an important winter-flowering tree as it provides a good supply of nectar at a time of year when there is little else for many species including the regent honeyeater, grey-headed flying fox and gliders.

A local beekeeper said he was very happy to plant a few especially for these features.

The trees were grown and donated by MidCoast Council.

MKEG treasurer Trish Blair said a lot of people showed interest in the work of the group, with some signing up for membership on the day.

As well as generous donations from Woody’s Nursery and Hunter Valley Providores, many people also made donations at the stall, raising more than $425.

Marilyn Mercer donated a number of beautiful handmade toy koalas that will be raffled at the next big fundraiser.

MKEG President Richard Streamer thanked all the volunteers, the hosts and everyone who made donations or took away seedlings to plant.

“This work is a vital part of helping to conserve koalas and other wildlife in our area,” he said.


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