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12 September 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Arbor tree plant
To celebrate National Arbor Week the University of the Free State has embarked on a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September

If you’ve wondered whether Arbor Month was important, you only have to look at the destruction and long-term damage that deforestation causes to the environment and the world’s inhabitants. To observe National Arbor Month, the University of the Free State’s has (UFS) kick-started a drive to plant 150 trees during the month of September.

To launch this initiative, the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, alongside members of the rectorate, assisted the University Estates team in planting the first 10 of 100 trees at the Bloemfontein Campus on Wednesday 4 September 2019. A total of 50 trees will be planted on the Qwaqwa Campus.

Towards a sustainable future

“We have gone through periods of drought in the Free State that have severely impacted not only the plants but the trees on our campuses. The idea is to emphasise sustainability, and as a university, we believe that sustainability is important. As an education institution, we have to look at the generations that are still to come to our campuses,” said Prof Petersen.

He urged the Kovsie community to ensure that all practices across the campuses are linked to global standards of sustainability. “As we develop over the next couple of months and years, we will get much closer alignment between what we are doing as a university and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Drought-resistant man-made forests

Clusters of mini forests across the campuses will be created with a variety of trees including the karee, white karee, white stinkwood, and wild olive. These indigenous trees can adapt well to different soils including those that are poorly drained.

Celebrating Arbor Week

This year’s campaign was held under the theme Forests and Sustainable Cities. As part of the celebration, University Estates made a commitment to the environment by embarking on the green initiative which includes other project such as the upgrade of Red Square on the Bloemfontein Campus.

News Archive

Phemelo crowned Miss Free State 2017
2017-06-09

Description:Mej Vrystaat, Phemelo Lekale Tags: Mej Vrystaat, Phemelo Lekale

Phemelo Lekale, a second-year BCom Accounting
student at the University of the Free State, is the
newly crowned Miss Free State 2017.
Photo: Wiaan Coffee Photography

“To me, this pageant is about empowering young women. It helped me realise my strengths and weaknesses; it taught me how I can overcome my weaknesses and use my strengths to the best of my ability.”

This is exactly what second-year BCom Accounting student Phemelo Lekale sets out to do during her reign as Miss Free State 2017.

Bring about change and make a difference

The Miss Free State pageant aims in assisting young women to reach out to their communities and charities to bring about change. The pageant also aims to make a difference in somebody’s life.

Phemelo, who takes over from last year’s Kovsie winner Mienke van Rooyen, said that she needed to grow and learn as an individual, and that is exactly what the Miss Free State platform gave her.

Excited about the opportunities lying ahead

When the announcement was made, Phemelo was filled with so many mixed emotions she only realised she was the new Miss Free State when Mienke handed over the sash. “It felt like someone was saying ‘yes, I believe in you and the vision that you proposed to bring to the table’.”

Phemelo said she was excited about the opportunities that came with being Miss Free State and the impact that this brand would have on society. “By the end of my reign, I won’t be the same woman I was when I entered and neither will I be the same woman I was when I won the crown.”

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