Shirley Volkwyn, WCC Eco-Schools Coordinator, reports:
The first week in September is Arbour Week and this year the theme was Our Forests – Our Future. Whale Coast Conservation had a very successful drive at our schools and crèches all over the Overstrand and in the Zwelihle community.
The common species of tree for 2012 is the Waterberry (Waterbessie) and the rare species the Black Mangrove (Swart wortelboom). The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries donated 150 trees to WCC for distribution.
Trees were planted on Monday 3rd September in Gansbaai, at Zwelihle Primary and Qhayiya Secondary, as well in Kleinmond. Laerskool Kleinmond planted seventeen trees with much enthusiasm. Their coordinator Estelle Schuurman especially mentioned the passion of the caretaker for his garden and the environmental work he does with children at the school. Kleinmond Primary planted twenty trees and learners vowed to look after the trees in class groups. A parent at Siyabulela planted five trees.
Whale Coast Conservation delivered between three and ten trees to all Eco Schools in Hermanus. Mount Pleasant Primary’s Grade 7 class planted ten trees on Monday morning, Zwelihle Primary planted three and on Wednesday Hermanus Waldorf planted five trees along their newly established sport fields. Many of our Eco Schools celebrated both the end of Arbour Week and Casual Day on Friday.
Talks were given about the importance of trees and tree planting was done as part of a ceremony, with groups of learners involved, some schools involving all the learners.
During their annual meetings running up to Arbour Week the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries emphasised the importance of greening throughout the year by removing aliens and planting vegetable gardens and fruit trees. Ownership of the trees is encouraged amongst all recipients.
Fewer trees were allocated this year due to budget constraints and it was emphasised that trees already issued should be treasured. Like many other costly resources, the gift of trees cannot be guaranteed forever.