National Arbor Week serves to promote awareness for the need to plant and maintain indigenous trees throughout South Africa, especially in communities living in barren and water stressed areas. To celebrate National Arbor Week 2017, our Eco-Schools team visited 10 local schools to give environmental presentations and to plant trees. The 50 trees, along with Arbor posters were donated by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The various trees that were planted included White Karee, Tree fuschia, Sand olive, and Brush Cherry trees.

JEQ Primary, Delta Primary and Strandfontein Primary each held whole-school assemblies about Arbor week before planting their trees, and Strandfontein Eco-Club learners showed off posters and recited their own poems. One of the poem stanzas was;

“Big trees small trees, they all play their part, they all have a place in all of our hearts, lets clap our hands and scream hip hip hooray. Celebrate the trees because, it’s Arbor Day!”

At Harmony Primary, Oval North Secondary and Lantana the Eco-clubs enjoyed getting their hands dirty while planting their trees! The Kirstenhof Primary Eco-club made a video about the importance of trees which was played in assembly for the whole school. At Cape Town High each grade chose a tree to plant and look after.

Gretchen Collins, our Eco-School Coordinator said “the week was amazing, and filled with practical learning. The learners were excited and have a new appreciation for trees and forests. Even some of the smaller grades were aware of the level five water restrictions in the Western Cape. This indeed fills ones heart with joy to know that the Eco-schools programme is achieving its goals by instilling the awareness and appreciation towards the environment and sustainability.”

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