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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

Music builds bridges - Diva Mimi Coertse
2004-09-21

Music is not bounded by colour, religion, politics or time. It builds bridges. It reaches out to people’s hearts and feelings. Everyone understands the language of music. These were the words of the opera and chamber music diva, Mimi Coertse, who delivered the 34th C.R. Swart Memorial Lecture of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Free State. The theme of her lecture was Music as international language. Ms. Coertse said there are no boundaries to music. Different from the spoken word in drama, music can be understood by everyone. There are no boundaries in classical music – and specifically in opera. Developed nations adopted the Eurocentric art form as part of their culture. Examples are China, Korea and Japan where classical music became part of these counties’ national culture, she said. “Unfortunately, however, classical music is seen in many instances – and even in our country – as Eurocentric, but that is not the case. When you start analysing it, you will notice that our black choirs specifically sing opera in choir competitions. These choir competitions became a major industry. These choirs prefer to sing opera.” Ms. Coertse said music brings joy, pleasure, relaxations and healing. It moves into the inner chambers of people’s hearts. You cannot swear at someone in music of curse the. Music is sensual, emotional and very spiritual. God is the writer, man just the player.

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