Volunteers plant trees for koalas with their bear hands

Deakin University student Grace Flaherty.

Volunteers have planted 3600 trees in Balliang to help protect threatened koalas, birds and flying foxes, with another 4400 to be planted in coming weeks.

The Koala Clancy Foundation is an independent charity that advocates for the protection of koalas.

The group’s president Janine Duffy said the 8000 tree project is so big, it can be seen from the Geelong-Bacchus Marsh Road.

“The Grey Box woodlands of Balliang were once important to animals like koalas, Grey-headed Flying-foxes, Black Falcons and Barking Owls,” Ms Duffy said.

“Many of the animals that lived in or used the Grey Box forests are now endangered, so we are putting some of that ecosystem back.

“The project is restoring a huge 10 hectare area.”

The site was once part of a eucalypt forest, but was cleared for farmland in the early 1900.

Each plant is specifically chosen to help target the needs of 16 threatened species, including birds, mammals, reptiles and insects.

Ms Duffy said the trees could be used by animals within “two to four years”.

The project was funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and Greater Geelong council, through their environment sustainability grant program.

Ms Duffy also encourages people to attend the next planting on Sunday, July 24, which she hopes will be the session that completes the project.

Details: www.koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/events/