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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

Acting Rector visits USA universities
2009-04-17

 
 Prof. Verschoor (second from the left, front) and the delegation during the visit to the Appalachian State University.
Photo: Supplied
The Acting Rector of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Teuns Verschoor, recently returned from an extensive visit to the United States of America (USA). He was accompanied by Prof. Aldo Stroebel, Director International Affairs, and Mr Arthur Johnson, Coordinator at the International Office. An institutional agreement has been signed between the UFS and Appalachian State University (ASU), which will focus on staff and student exchange, within the ambit of service learning initiatives. Prof; Mabel Erasmus, Head of Service Learning at the university’s Centre for Higher Education Studies and Development (CHESD), joined Prof. Verschoor and the delegation for the ASU part of the visit. Proff. Verchoor and Stroebel also interviewed potential Fulbright Senior Specialists to participate in the conceptualisation of the proposed International Institute for Diversity. They had discussions with Mellon Foundation representatives and it is planned that the UFS will participate in a networking and showcasing event to potential international donors later during 2009 at Princeton University under the auspices of Seton Hall University, New York. Discussions took place with several staff at Cornell University, including Prof. Alice Pell, Vice-Provost for International Affairs, and Prof. Muna Ndulo, Director of the Institute for African Development. It has been agreed that an institutional memorandum of agreement will be signed between the UFS and Cornell early in the second semester following the assumption of duty of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor Designate, Prof. Jonathan Jansen. Prof Jansen is an alumnus of Cornell University

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