Tilligerry Community Association (TCA) has secured a $76,000 state government grant to help with the regeneration and rehabilitation of bushland in Tanilba Bay.
TCA president Fran Corner said that the funding would be used to help remove rubbish and weeds, and to educate the community about the environmental merits of the bushland, part of which is known as Girumbit National Park.
She said that the 50-hectare area, which also comprises state and crown land, had for years been trashed by bikes, cars and bushfire. A section of the bushland has also been sand mined.
"TCA applied for the grant with the support of Tilligerry Landcare and we are excited to have been approved. The funds will allow volunteer members to clean up the site and to make the area more walker friendly, while also planting more koala food trees," Ms Corner said.
"We intend to plant one section of the bushland area with eucalyptus robusta.
"This area is popular with koalas, in fact it is favoured by groups such as Port Stephens Koalas to release unaccompanied baby koalas who have gone into their care.
"We are also planning to remove weeds such as pine trees, coastal tea trees, Iantana and introduced grasses, all of which are invasive over time and destroy native bush."
The $76,000 grant is applicable over three years and would help fund a weekly Worimi working bee each Wednesday for a year, according to Ms Corner.
"Through the support of other organisations, we also hope to run a fortnightly re-weeding session during year two and a reduced mop-up of weed regrowth in the final year. The program is expected to finish in September 2023."
Ms Corner said that members would work with the paid regenerators on the first Wednesday of each month and on significant planned events such as National Tree Day (August) and Clean Up Australia Day (March).
The NSW environmental trust grant for regeneration and rehabilitation (of bushland) is funded by a government levee on councils in order to deter rubbish being sent to landfill. It was set up to encourage and support restoration and rehabilitation projects in both the public and private sectors.