When bushfires broke out across Australia in 2019, no one thought the flames would eventually burn across 46 million acres. But that’s what’s happened. Lake Conjola, a small town in New South Wales, was totally devastated. The fires claimed three lives in Lake Conjola, destroyed 127 homes, and devastated the tourism-driven economy.
Convoy of Hope immediately began supplying the residents of Conjola with food, water, and relief supplies. Many of the local recovery efforts were focused on providing for immediate needs, rebuilding infrastructure, and reviving businesses, but Convoy of Hope saw that people’s gardens and community recreation spaces also needed to be restored.
It was through a conversation with a local resident who lost his house and plant nursery in the fires that the idea for “Regrow Conjola” came into being. Through consultation with local experts, we created a list of 40 different plant species to grow and purchased seedlings. Students at 37 schools throughout the area were invited to help raise and repot the seedlings until they were ready to be distributed to those affected by the fires.
A total of 11,500 seedlings are being cared for and will be delivered to residents of Conjola and the surrounding area and more will be distributed in the future. Throughout this project, students learned all about the plants they nurtured and the ecosystem they will restore.
Students involved in “Regrow Conjola” will also have the opportunity to learn about the devastating effects of bushfires through research and stories of residents affected by the bushfire. Some of the participating schools will visit Conjola residents and present their plants to them as a gift.
Convoy of Hope is proud to stand with the residents of Conjola as they rebuild their lives.
Click here to follow Convoy of Hope Australia’s response.