Arbor Week planting

Sub-council 3 chairwoman, Helen Carstens.

The Vink’s Greenbelt Association marked Arbor Week with the planting of an indigenous cycad in its Arboretum.

Arbor Week is a national campaign that runs annually from September 1 to 7, celebrating South Africa’s trees and raising awareness about their importance.

The theme for this year’s Arbor Week, “Forests and Water”, was kept from last year, as the country continues to feel the effects of the drought.

Sub-council 3 chairwoman Helen Carstens planted the cycad on Wednesday September 6, and she spoke about the important benefits trees have for the environment and communities.

“Places such as this Arboretum, provide a sanctuary for residents where they can walk and have picnics. Trees also help to reduce noise, contribute to food security and provide a pleasant environment to live in,” she said.

Ms Carstens said that by planting one tree we all could make a difference.

“I hope that what we planted today will have a positive effect on generations to come and that it will be continued by generations to come,” she said.

Dr Piet Vorster, of the Cycad Association of South Africa, said cycads dated back millions of years and were the most primitive of all plant species. They resemble a mix of palms and ferns, but are closer cousins to conifers, the cone-bearing plants, and they can store water in their roots for a long time.

Altus de Wet, from the City’s recreation and parks department, said the City welcomed partnerships because it could not maintain all green spaces by itself.

“This space looks good, and we are thankful to the association for the money and effort they have put into the Arboretum,” he said.

Vink’s Greenbelt Association chairman, Hannes Bosch, thanked the City and sub-council for their support.