What we have achieved

What started in 2016 as a handful of concerned neighbours in Bangalow who were determined to protect a 400-metre stretch of 30-year-old koala habitat in Byron Shire’s hinterland, has grown into Bangalow Koalas, a successful model for community based environmental action.

This map shows where our plantings have been and indicates number of trees per planting.

Some of our proudest milestones:

  • Bangalow Koalas became an ‘incorporated entity’ in 2017, a registered not-for-profit charity in 2018 and a registered environmental organisation, with DGR statues in 2019.
  • In 2018, we received our very first grant to plant trees from National Landcare. Fast forward three years, and in 2021, Bangalow Koalas signed a three-year partnership with ‘Koalas Forever’, one of WWF Australia’s Regenerate Australia priority programs. Worth $1.32 million, by 2024, the three-year partnership will result in 100,000 trees planted.
  • Since 2019, Bangalow Koalas has facilitated 120 plantings across 90 properties, with trees supplied to numerous landholders.
  • We planted 19,250 trees in 2019 and 56,106 in 2020. We planted/supplied 81,669 trees in 2021 and 82,968 in 2022 (with an extra 25,736 planted as flood infills) and 95,948 in 2023.
  • Hundreds of volunteers attend our plantings, including people travelling to take part from Brisbane in the north, and Armidale and Port Macquarie in the south. We even have volunteers from as far afield as Victoria.

Bangalow Koalas has received numerous high profile awards, recognising the significant contribution it is making to address the restoration of habitat for endangered koalas.

  • 2019 NSW Landcare Awards: Australian Community Media Landcare Community Group Award Champion.
  • Winner 2020 & 2022 Australia Day Byron Shire Awards: Environmental Project of the Year Award.
  • Winner 2020 & 2022 Australia Day Byron Shire Awards: Environmental Citizen of the Year.
  • Finalist 2020 & 2022 NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year.
  • Byron Shire Council 2020 Sustainability Award
  • Linda Sparrow, president of Bangalow Koalas was awarded Australian Geographic Society Conservationist of the Year Award 2022
  • Koala Conservation Australia – Community Group Award 2023
  • NSW State Nominee for Australian of the Year 2024 Local Hero Award
  • Ambassador Australia Day 2024