The City is celebrating Arbor Month under the theme ‘Urban Forests and Sustainable Cities’ in Khayelitsha. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Khayelitsha’s Ncumo Park went green after the City’s Recreation and Parks Department hosted an event in celebration of Arbor Month.

September is Arbor Month and South Africans are heeding the call to plant indigenous trees.

Residents and gardeners participated in the planting and beautifying of Ncumo Park under the theme “Urban Forests and Sustainable Cities”. The yellowwood has been designated as the tree of the year. Mayco member for safety and security, and social services JP Smith said the days of large-scale planting were over, that it was a case of planting smartly and taking better care of our existing trees.

“We have had to revisit our approach to Arbor Month, specifically because of the drought and the realisation that we live in a water-scarce region,” said Smith.

“The City calls on Capetonians to help preserve this precious resource and to support tree planting while remaining mindful of our limited water resources,” he said.

Ward councillor Anda Ntsondo said a challenge was set for all individuals to plant at least one indigenous tree and thousands of young children were being taught the value and importance of responsible forestry.

Social Services Mayco member JP Smith shared his keynote address on Urban Forests and Sustainable Cities at Ncumo Park in Khayelitsha. Video: Sisonke Mlamla/Cape Argus

A resident and a member of Nonyameko Food Garden, Nonkululeko Vavi said their food gardening project had been started 15 years ago, with the focus on vegetable planting.

“Tree planting is very important because it helps reduce soil erosion,” said Vavi.

A member of Jama Garden Project, Nokulunga Ngqongwa said their efforts had transformed a dumping site into a garden site. “Tree planting will help in beautifying our area. One tree provides oxygen for many humans.”

The Recreation and Parks Department encouraged people to take care of trees and be environmentally friendly.

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