Lal Lal Primary School pupils have used muscle power to create a secure food source for the koalas at Ballarat Wildlife Park. The school's 35 children have planted more than 300 koala-friendly trees at school which they will nurture for the next two years before the wildlife park starts to harvest the leaves to feed their growing koala population. Principal Siobhan Gosney said the students, who worked together in multi-age groups to plant the trees, were excited to look after their koala food forest and know where the leaves would eventually be going. The school is working in partnership with Landcare and the Ballarat Wildlife Park as part of the park's Branching Out for Koalas campaign to boost the stocks of suitable trees for their captive colony of koalas, and those living in the wild. "It started because one of the guys who works at the wildlife park was driving through Lal Lal every day on his way to work from Geelong," Ms Gosney said. "He thought it would be a great area, he got in contact with Sue (from Landcare) about planting trees and we had had a conversation with her about tree planting before that." In what children described as "the best day ever" they had a surprise visit from Ballarat Wildlife Park keepers and one of their koalas in the morning, before spending a sunny afternoon outside planting trees. "They are so at one with nature," Ms Gosney said. "They were really keen to ask lots of questions about the koalas, and are really excited to look after the trees because they know where the leaves are going. "The kids are so keen to look after the environment." READ MORE: Manna gum is the favourite food of koalas, comprising up to 80 per cent of what they eat at the wildlife park. They also eat blue gum, messmate and red gum. Donations to the Branching Out for Koalas campaign can be made online through the Ballarat Wildlife Park website at www.wildlifepark.com.au/branchingout. Sign up to receive The Courier's news alerts straight to your inbox.