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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

Babies need time on their tummies
2009-08-07

 
Babies who spend more time on their tummies (in the prone position) when they are awake are more advanced in their motor development than children who are not allowed to lie on their tummies, or only for short periods, shows research published by Ms Dorothy Russell in the South African Journal of Occupational Therapy. Ms Russell is a senior occupational therapist in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in the Faculty of Heath Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS). The study shows there were significant differences in the active movements of the arms and the pushing-up on the arms between prone and non-prone infants.

She says research and clinical evidence indicate that parents are not well educated regarding the value of placing their infants in the prone position during the early stages of infancy. The supine position where babies lie on the backs, leads to a decrease in the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and mothers steer away of putting their babies in the prone position because of that. However, lack of exposure to prone position can result in deceased opportunities to learn functions such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling and pulling to the standing position.
Photo: Leatitia Pienaar

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