Every September since 1983, South Africa has celebrated Arbour Day, a holiday founded in the United States in 1872 to celebrate the importance of trees and their place in our environment. From 1999 onward, South Africa extended the holiday to the whole first week of September, forming Arbour Week – and the nation now celebrates our trees for the entire month This month, Greenpop encourages all South Africans to explore their environmental curiosity by planting trees – and having fun doing it!
Put simply, trees promote life. Not only do trees produce oxygen and sequester carbon dioxide, but they also provide homes for animals, recharge groundwater, replace soil nitrates and prevent erosion. The addition of an indigenous tree to any environment can have countless benefits.
From a social perspective, South Africa has huge disparity between ‘leafy’ privileged areas and ‘barren’ under-privileged areas. Urban greening improves pride of place in communities, augments education, improves health and well-being and has also been linked to reductions in social ills. Finally, fruit and olive trees can provide produce to be used in feeding schemes or sold by schools and communities. Indigenous trees also increase property values and the shade they provide serves as natural air-conditioning for homes and classrooms.
How Can We Take Part in Arbour Month?
In honour of Arbour Month, Greenpop is hosting its first ever Reforest Fest from 12-14 September in the Eastern Cape’s magical Hogsback. As part of Greenpop’s Reforest Fest initiative thus far, over 18 000 trees have been planted in the Platbos Forest Reserve over four years. Greenpop is excited to replicate this project by planting 2500 indigenous trees and spreading awareness in the Amathole Mountains, one of the most beautiful regions in South Africa.
As part of the weekend festivities, participants will plant trees, enjoy an awesome line-up of local music and entertainment, and take part hikes in the forest, workshops to learn about the environment and sustainable living and other creative activities. We’ll also be visiting the oldest Yellowwood in the Eastern Cape! Isn’t that another wonderful way to celebrate Arbour month this year?
Not able to celebrate the importance of trees at Hogsback? Support Greenpop by buying trees online or donating any amount towards trees this Arbour month.
We encourage everyone to join the treevolution; plant a tree; water a tree; hug a tree; learn a bit more about the trees in your area! For more information about Greenpop, the Hogsback Reforest Fest or other Greenpop events and activities, please visit www.greenpop.org, check out our Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org