Thursday, February 19, 2009

500 trees for Freedom Park

As part of the carbon offset for Design Indaba 2007, we purchased 500 trees for the whole community of Freedom Park from Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA). The trees are to be planted there over the next few days!

FTFA is an NGO that promotes greening and food security, espousing the view that “a house is not a home without a tree”, and aims to improve the quality of life of the poor by providing plant material, environmental awareness and education for those living in low-cost housing developments. Growing trees and other plants in the townships brightens the environment, prevents soil erosion, and provides wind breaks, as well as food, income and activities for many unemployed people. FTFA spreads awareness about the importance of greening, and trains volunteers to become community-based educators on greening the environment themselves. They share their knowledge with neighbours, and soon the entire community is involved in the business of gardening.

FTFA programme manager, Joanne Rolt, and community forester, Lucky Xaba, have been responsible for organising roll-out. Lucky has been holding workshops with 12 members of the Freedom Park community, training them in planting and caring for trees - knowledge that they in turn will pass on to their neighbours. The trees will be delivered from Tulbagh Nursery tomorrow, and planting will happen this weekend. We're very excited that the barren, sandy landscape is about to be transformed!

The following indigenous species, all suitable for the climate and soil conditions in the area, and notable for their hardiness and capacity to provide shade, will be planted at Freedom Park:

60 x Ilex mitis (African Holly/Without)

60 x Harpephyllum caffrum (Wild Plum)

15 x Podacarpus falcatus (Outeniqua Yellowwood)

60 x Sideroxylon inerme (White Milkwood)

60 x Ficus natalensis (Natal Fig)

20 x Rapanea melanphloeos (Cape Beech/Boekenhout)

80 x Trichilia dregeana (Cape Mahogany/Rooi Essenhout)

50 x Rhus pendulina/Searsia pendulina (White Karee)

60 x Combretum erythrophyllum (River Bushwillow)

15 x Ekebergia capensis (Cape Ash)

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