As part of its contribution to Arbor Week, the Kruger National Park has handed over 120 indigenous plants to residents of Phameni Village, one of the villages bordering the park.
"With the theme 'Forests and Sustainable Cities', the tree handover at Phameni Village today assists us with implementing the greening of the villages bordering the park whilst strengthening relations with them," park's community liaison and land claim general manager William Mabasa said.
Mabasa added that the handover of the trees was a way of promoting community-based conservation initiatives among the park's stakeholders so that they could also "play a meaningful role in environmental conservation".
He said the park engaged with community forums and other relevant committees to build capacity and assist local communities to come up with ideas and develop and implement sustainable greening projects in their communities.
"These types of projects are part of the government's expanded public works programme; which form part of the KNP's broader strategy for economic empowerment and social responsibility line-up aimed at communities around the park," he said.
During the event, Mabasa encouraged beneficiaries to regularly check on the progress of the trees.
Villagers were also urged to plant the trees in their backyards to boost their health because the trees could provide roots, twigs and bark for the soothing and healing of many ailments.
The celebrations in the KNP are expected to continue throughout the month, with the planting of more trees in local communities bordering the park, Mabasa added.