Digging deep for Arbour Week

2016-09-27 06:00
Bongeka Ndikina, left, environmental officer at GrandWest turns the soil with Father Charles Blows, chairperson of the Shawco Kensington Centre, as Michael Mendelson (behind Blows), Operations Controller: Finance at GrandWest looks on.

Bongeka Ndikina, left, environmental officer at GrandWest turns the soil with Father Charles Blows, chairperson of the Shawco Kensington Centre, as Michael Mendelson (behind Blows), Operations Controller: Finance at GrandWest looks on.

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It was all about trees when GrandWest in collaboration with the University of Cape Town’s Students’ Health and Welfare Centres Organisation (Shawco) joined forces to celebrate Arbour Week on Friday 9 September.

There was a buzz in the air as the Shawco Centre in 12th Avenue Kensington was the scene for 15 indigenous trees to be planted.

Representatives from both organisations rolled up their sleeves to get the Searsia lancea (Karree) and Ekebergia capensis (Cape ash) which are indigenous to the Western Cape into the grounds of the centre.

This facility in Kensington is a landmark institution in the area formerly known as Windermere Estate. Established in 1968 it has provided a space for education, health care, development and learning.

The facility comprises the Kensington Crèche, Meals On Wheels, Department of Social Development, Communicare Women’s Network, Daughters of Destiny, South African Memory Institute (Kensington), as well as other community organisations including Kensington Haven Night Shelter and Kensington Old Age Home (among others).

The field where the trees were planted is currently used as a play park for learners and children, as well as a space for seniors from the old age home and Meals on Wheels to relax.

Arbour Week serves to generate awareness of the devastating effects of deforestation and urbanisation on the environment, with the aim to encourage South Africans to do their bit to help replenish what has been lost by planting more trees.

“As with so many things, one person planting one tree will make little difference,” says Gavin Joachims, director of the facility.

“However, if we all band together and plant trees in Arbour Week, the cumulative effect is meaningful. Tree planting has been part of the community and history of the Shawco Kensington Centre since its beginning. We are pleased that we were able to be part of this special community event.”

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