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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

UFS mourns the death of Prof. Jakes Gerwel
2012-11-29

Prof. Jakes Gerwel
29 November 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) mourns the death of one of South Africa’s most respected academics and leaders, Prof. Jakes Gerwel.

The 66-year-old thought leader died on Wednesday in Cape Town, after spending Tuesday in critical condition following heart surgery.

Prof. Gerwel was a well-known figure in South Africa's political history and in his later years, he chaired and was on the board of major organisations and corporations. In 2004 the UFS awarded an honorary degree in literature to him.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, UFS’ Vice-Chancellor and Rector, said Prof. Gerwel was one of South Africa's leading scholars in Afrikaans literature and an outstanding university leader during troubled times.

“He inspired a generation of young scholars through his example of linking political activism to academic excellence in ways that enhanced both. I regard him as my senior mentor, and I am forever grateful for the example he set, which I hope to emulate.”
 

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