CAPE Town mayor Dan Plato and mayoral committee member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien planted trees in memory of those who lost their lives due to Covid-19. Picture: City of Cape Town
CAPE Town mayor Dan Plato and mayoral committee member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien planted trees in memory of those who lost their lives due to Covid-19. Picture: City of Cape Town

City of Cape Town establishes remembrance gardens in honour of those who lost their battle against Covid-19

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Sep 8, 2021

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CAPE TOWN: The City of Cape Town planted a memorial garden in honour of those who lost their lives due to Covid-19.

This comes as the City’s Parks and Recreation Department dedicated its Arbor Month festivities launch to the families of residents who lost their lives.

On Wednesday, mayor Dan Plato and mayoral committee member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien planted a memorial garden of tall Liquidamber styraciflua trees, in an empty space at the Maynardville Park.

“These trees represent life and will remind us of the contribution made by our residents and staff, to our neighbourhoods and City.

“It also creates awareness around the value of caring for nature and how it beautifies our surroundings.

“We will honour them through nurturing these trees and I look forward to seeing these plants mature – to serve as a reminder of the beauty around us, even in difficult times,” Plato said.

Badroodien said the trees planted symbolised the circle of life.

He said the memorials for Covid-19 victims were not just taking place at the Maynardville Park.

“Today, we held six Covid-19 remembrance ceremonies at gardens that are living memorials to the many loved ones we’ve lost. We remember them not only today, but as these trees grow and thrive it will be a testimony to their lives,” Badroodien said.

He said a total of 18 new trees were planted to establish the new gardens.

This was fitting, as the theme for Arbor Month this year is forest restoration: A path to recovery and well-being.

Badroodien said this is a call to action for communities to become aware of, and to value, the critical role trees play in sustainable development, as well as their contribution to livelihoods and the environment.

THE City of Cape Town is urging residents to participate in Arbor Month, by tying a green bow around a tree, in memory of a loved one. Picture: City of Cape Town

The tree of the year is Spekboom (portulacaria afra), which is found in the eastern parts of the country, and is an evergreen succulent which has medicinal properties, is high in vitamin C, and has small round leaves with a zesty flavour, which can be used in salads

“Residents may catch sight of trees with green bows, placed in various parks and cemeteries in the City, which – from an aerial view – form a circle.

“Participating sites include Maitland Cemetery, Jack Muller Park, Mandela Park, Westridge, Princess Vlei and Maynardville Park.

“Green is the colour of renewal and life. It also symbolises growth, prosperity and new beginnings,” Badroodien said.

He urged residents to participate in Arbor Month by tying a green bow on a tree at home to remember a loved one, plant a tree against climate change, conserve water, and use alternative water sources when planting trees, as well as preventing veld and forest fires, and protecting indigenous forests.

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