• Katrina

The Power of One: Landholder Makes a Difference

Every person can make a difference in this world. Never fall into the trap of thinking that anything you can do is too small to matter.

Our iconic animals need our help, and they need it now.

Private landowners can do so much for the environment, and if you have acreage you can create an amazing lifestyle regenerating or re-vegetating native habitat.


Koala Gardens is situated in a natural koala corridor. The land was once stripped of both trees and rocks, and then used to graze cattle. Once the ground was exposed this way and the canopy removed, a range of poisons were used to control invasive weeds. The cattle were removed as they became too much effort to manage on small acreage, and a tractor used in conjunction with poisons to ‘keep it all neat’.


Of course, at this point the property was not known as Koala Gardens and was not even owned by Katrina.

Aerial photograph of Koala Gardens 4 years before regeneration works began – note mature trees dotted through slashed open areas.

When Katrina began regenerating the habitat at Koala Gardens, her husband had recently passed away and nature had already taken a hand in the healing process. Around 3000 native koala food and shelter trees had self-sown and the process of ‘returning to bush’ had begun naturally.


In just 4 years, the transformation is astounding, and the impact on native wildlife is awesome. Katrina uses photo points to record flora changes, and daily koala spotting to record fauna impacts.

Self sown saplings at 18 months old as the transformation began.

There are a few things to consider, and once you have the basics understood, the detail is simpler than you may think.

Ecosystems and biodiversity must never be forgotten or ignored.


Climate change and biodiversity are interconnected. Biodiversity contributes to conserving and managing the sustainability of an ecosystem. What this means is that the greater the diversity in your habitat, the better it responds to changes in climate conditions.

Once the canopy forms, ecosystems rapidly begin to look after themselves as fungi and bacteria, birds and insects, and leaf litter begin to take over the natural processes.

Let’s just say that if you have an open paddock with a few stand-alone trees, everything in that paddock will suffer as heat increases. If you plant an area with only one species and it does not cope with increased heat, then you lose the entire plantation.


Ecosystems are based on diversity and mutual cooperation. Ecosystems take over and do the work if you can just give them a kick-start.

Native grasses are important for ground cover and many birds and insects needed by the entire ecosystem.

Get professional help.


The secret behind Koala Gardens’ success lies in starting by having a professional Property Management Plan created. This plan informs everything that you do, and is a great help in gaining funding for conservation work.


There are many funding opportunities for landowners in Australia, from very small projects to large community collective projects. Start small, and build your way up as you make a successful impact and gain knowledge and confidence in giving nature a helping hand to do what she does best.

Native habitat regeneration is the ultimate lifestyle.

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This article has been kindly supplied by Katrina Jeffery of Koala Gardens. Follow Katrina on Facebook here, and for the fascinating history of Koala Gardens please see the following webpage: http://koalagardens.net.au/history.html

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Did you know Katrina also has a children's book? "The Adventures of Mist: Finding Koala Gardens" is available on Kindle. Find it on Amazon here.

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