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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

Student from Atlanta, USA joins TIA/UFS Metagenomics Platform group
2012-09-11

Kanesha Gillyard from the USA .
11 September 2012

 The university and the Spelman College in Atlanta, USA had a joint research venture that ran from June to August 2012. We had the honour of hosting one of the students from Spelman in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. Kanesha Gillyard joined the group from the TIA/UFS Metagenomics Platform in the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology.

This was the first time that Kanesha had left Atlanta. This is what she had to say about her trip to Africa:

“I was met with a bright smile and open arms on my first day. The university staff and overall student body have embraced me. Furthermore, the Biotechnology Department has made me feel like I am family. Every day I was given the opportunity to work with a group of people dedicated to their goals, persistent regarding their purpose and fluent in speaking the many dialects of this universal language.

My first week here at the university was like walking into a whole new world.

I have learned many valuable lessons after experiencing life in South Africa for the past two and half months. From adjusting to a new environment and broadening my horizons to becoming trilingual in English, Afrikaans and the new universal language of virtue, I have grown tremendously. Being a “Kovsie” for two months and obtaining an invaluable wealth of knowledge has left me with the confidence of a winner, passion of a dreamer and heart of a nurturer. In essence, this experience has taught me the scientific method to repeat in order to reach for infinity and beyond.”
 

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