Conservation leaders set example

Nico van Wyk, Triston Marinus and Anastacia-Lee Mathee proudly lead the tree planting activity at the Parkwood Community Garden.
Nico van Wyk, Triston Marinus and Anastacia-Lee Mathee proudly lead the tree planting activity at the Parkwood Community Garden.

Doing their bit for Arbor Month, three of the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust’s (CTEET) second intake conservation leaders visited Parkwood Community Garden on Saturday 5 September to get their hands dirty.

The learners from CTEET’s conservation leadership programme had a fantastic day planting trees and setting an example to their friends who also joined in.

Nico van Wyk, Anastacia-Lee Mathee and Triston Marinus have been part of the developmental programme for three years, and their mission was to raise awareness of the importance of “greening” local urban spaces.

Three Diep River residents donated the trees which were planted on the day. The residents in turn had received the trees from Stodels Garden Centre, who had offered free indigenous trees to club members.

Jacki Sands, a spokesperson for CTEET, says apart from being beautiful, trees perform vital ecosystem services.

“They are important for cleaning the air and providing oxygen for us to breathe. Their roots act as stabilisers to combat erosion and they increase the soil’s capacity for water retention. They also provide physical benefits to humans by lowering stress levels and heart rates while being important habitats for animals and birds,” says Sands.

She urges others to get involved by either planting a tree in their garden or by donating a tree to a community garden or an organisation that is planting trees.

“Planting a tree is such a great activity for the whole family to be involved in, and a perfect occasion and tool to educate children on trees and their roles in providing oxygen and clean air to the environment. If everyone plants at least one tree, it will make all the difference in the world,” Sands says.

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