Couple donates 700 trees after bushfire destruction
A KLEINTON couple is on a mission to prove that from devastation, good things grow.
After watching bushfires sweep Pechey and Ravensbourne for the past fortnight, destroying thousands of trees, Megan Thomas and Patrick Neville have kickstarted the restoration effort by pledging to donate 700 native trees.
The trees will be used to rebuild the habitat around Crows Nest while providing a morale boost for residents whose properties were affected by the blaze.
Ms Thomas and Mr Neville, who will make the donation through their business Stroud Homes Toowoomba, said they hoped to spread some cheer.
"It was nerve-racking hearing about the fires because we are close by. Seeing all of the videos and news coming out showing the hectares of lost bushland and the animals suffering - it was scary," Ms Thomas said.
"(As a company) we usually donate 15 trees per build, however due to the destruction of the bushfires we felt we needed to do something bigger.
"We hoped 700 would go a long way towards establishing the environment that was lost and helping the koalas."
Mr Neville said the donation was partially inspired by his brother, who worked as a firefighter in town.
"It definitely hits close to home having friends and family in the close vicinity," he said.
"My brother Tom lives in Ravensbourne and he was monitoring which way the fire was moving. They were prepared to leave.
"Fortunately for them it didn't come to that. But it did affect other people around them - there are no real winners in these situations."
Having lived in Toowoomba his whole life, Mr Neville said the fire was one of the worst in recent memory.
In their hunt to find new homes for the trees, Ms Thomas put a call out on the Crows Nest community Facebook page. She said the response had been staggering.
"I didn't expect it to take off so quickly and I'm glad that it did," she said.
"We got a lot of messages. One lady who reached out said she had a fair bit of destruction on her property in Crows Nest and was evacuated.
"She's a retiree and she's not able to look at much herself, so she did reach out with her story and we will be going out there to do a plant day for her soon."
She said the team had been in contact with Landcare about the project.
For more information about the trees email firstname.lastname@example.org.