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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

Marjolein Sêr Group to compete in America
2009-04-03

 
Prof. Ezekiel Moraka, Vice-Rector: Student Affairs at the UFS and the Sêr Group of Majolein residence.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
A group of 17 female students from the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Marjolein Hostel have been selected to represent the university in an international a capella singing competition in New York, USA on 18 April 2009.

It is the first time that a South African singing group will take part in this competition.

The group has been singing together with coach Ms Marisan Nienkemper since 2006. In that year they obtained a second place and in 2008 they won the UFS’s serenade competition as well as received the prize for the best newly-composed a capella song. They also competed in the national university serenade competition in August 2008.

Ms Nienkemper contacted Ms Amanda Newman, the executive director of Varsity Vocals in the USA at the end of last year. Based on a video audition, she invited the group to compete in the international competition. She also regarded the group as having a high standard.

“We are extremely proud of Marjolein. Student life is an important part of higher education institutions and of the total development of students. The fact that one of our residences qualified for this competition is an indication of the vibrancy of our student life,” said Prof. Ezekiel Moraka, Vice-Rector: Student Affairs of the UFS.

The group will be leaving South Africa on 11 April 2009. The competition will take place at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
2 April 2009

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