Embracing trees at the festival

From left are Debbie Oelofse, BronwinIs the spelling of Browin correct? Williams (parent) and Carlyle Williams from Delft admiring squirrels at the interactive bonsai space.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku
From left are Debbie Oelofse, BronwinIs the spelling of Browin correct? Williams (parent) and Carlyle Williams from Delft admiring squirrels at the interactive bonsai space.PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

People from around the province had an opportunity to learn and connect with the environment during the annual Cape Town Cape Bonsai Festival.

The two-day festival, on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October, was organised by the Cape Regional Association of Bonsai (Crab) in partnership with the City of Cape Town’s recreation and parks department.

Crab is made up of five bonsai clubs which are Boland Bonsai Kai, Tygerberg Bonsai Club, Blaauwberg Bonsai Kai, Oyama Bonsai Kai and Cape Bonsai Kai.

Dubbed ‘Bonsai for all’, the festival featured displays for different trees, planting demonstrations, an interactive bonsai space and a play garden for the children, where they were encouraged to spot the squirrels. Winners were rewarded with a tree to take home as an encouragement to engage with nature. Trees on display were mostly indigenous trees ranging from 20 to over 60 centimetres tall.

The event aims to raise awareness about the importance of trees and educating the public on how to grow bonsai trees.

Chairperson for the Tygerberg Bonsai Club Debbie Oelofse said they work with the City to get communities involved and to create nice spaces to live in.

“It is not nice to live in a little box,” she said. She said children require a lot of space with trees in order for them to play and grow.

“The message we are trying to put out there is that we must look out for our environment, and the environment will also look after us. Trees give us oxygen,” she says.

Kensington resident Merwaan Mullins praised the festival for creating a good space for an outing and a platform to teach children about the environment.

Zahid Badroodien, Mayco member for community services and health, said the exhibition is a testament that residents and visitors care about trees and green, open spaces.

“Bonsai is an ideal way for the community to continue planting trees, as there is no limitation caused by a change in the climate. Some bonsai enthusiasts even brought along their trees, to get expert advice on styling and cultivation,” he said.

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