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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.

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Women’s Memorial Garden exudes the essence of women
2013-08-05

 

Photo: Stephen Collett
20 August 2013

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Female staff of the university gathered on Thursday 8 August 2013 in a pre-celebration of Women’s Day. An atmosphere of indulgence enveloped the Women’s Memorial Garden with smartly-dressed waiters serving high tea to the group while a string trio provided soothing melodies.

Beneath this luxurious backdrop, though, ran a deep and sincere current of kinship. The three speakers – women from diverse age groups and backgrounds – all had one clear message: love. Being a woman is being love – in all its various forms: from being tender to standing up for what is right.

Prof Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, reflected on the 20 000-strong women’s march in 1956 to the Union Buildings. Using this example, he expressed his wish for the women of South Africa to unite once again across race and creed to the benefit of our country.

Not only did a sense of courage and strength permeate the celebration, but the group dispersed with the beat in their hearts: you strike a woman, you strike a rock.

The university has several more celebratory events planned for Women’s Month. The program line-up is as follows:

16 August 2013 – for women students,
23 August 2013 – for women secretaries and admin staff,
30 August 2013 – for women in cleaning services,
date in August to be confirmed – for women in academics.

 

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