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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

Mandela Day to be celebrated by giving back to vulnerable communities
2015-07-16

Photo: Anita Venter

The office of Community Engagement at the University of the Free State will celebrate Mandela Day in a joint partnership project with the Faculty of Medicine’s Community Service Learning Committee, supporting the launch of Lesedi Multi-purpose Community Development Village.

The Mandela Day event will be hosted by Anita Venter and Sebabatso Mofama, co-founders of the Start Living Green Change Agents. On-going community projects will assist vulnerable communities in the Free State such as youth, women and children, the disabled, and the elderly. In promoting ‘green’ living, the project promotes the use of recycled old tyres, bottles, straw bricks, and adobe bricks as building materials.

The project is supported by the University of the Free State, Clean and Green Free State Campaign, and Redisa, the Government of Flanders, Belgium. Co-sponsors are KovsieFM and St Peter’s Methodist Church.

Donations are welcome for building and hardware equipment. For more information on how to participate, contact: Dikgapane Makhetha on +27(0)76 020 9423 or Anita Venter +27(0)51 401 3731

Date: 18 July 2015
Place: 129 Vlei Avenue, Roodewal Smallholdings, Airport/Maselspoort Road
Time: 09:00 - 16:00

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