Original content from Polity.co.za reposted:
Townships, informal settlements and squatter camps have become firmly entrenched as part of the Pretoria landscape. A phenomenon reflected throughout South Africa. These communities have very little access to “green” spaces such as parks and gardens. The ‘Greening Project’ launched by the partners of Pretoria-based law firm Adams & Adams and supported by Willow Feather Farm aims to establish, with the involvement of Vuka’Uzenzele Primary School in Nellmapius, Tshwane, a green space within the school.
“Trees play a vital role in rural and urban populations. They are needed to enrich and anchor soil, maximise water supplies, beautify and humanise townships and urban areas and provide shade and shelter. Many of our pharmaceutical, food, construction and energy sectors depend on trees and their by-products as part of the manufacturing process. Planting trees in our rural and urban areas is also very important in off-setting the carbon dioxide that our industrial activities release into the atmosphere,” says Nicky Garnett, head of Adams & Adams CSI group.
“Knowledge is power,” says Garnett, “and the Adams & Adams ‘Greening Project’ aims to educate the learners of Vuka School and the community at large about the importance of a healthy environment and the impact of trees in our lives – particularly the myriad of indigenous trees which play such an important part of greening. We’d also like to teach the learners and community that ordinary South African’s can play an important role in greening the country – just by planting and caring for trees.
“I think most importantly it will be vital to empower the community and school to work together to oversee the maintenance of trees in the long term and leave a legacy for all learners who pass through the school.”
In honour of Freedom Day, Adams & Adams with Willow Feather Farm planted 38 River Bush Willow trees at the school, which is equivalent to almost 700 reams of paper.
“This is a wonderful and truly exciting opportunity for Adams & Adams to reduce its carbon footprint and to give back to the environment,” says Garnett.
Garnett challenges other law firms to do the same. “It would be great to see a collective of law firms setting aside the competition for just a while and providing other institutions such as Vuka, with the opportunity to improve the lives of communities and schools.
“We made a commitment to the staff and pupils of the school that we will support them and we intend to continue to do so by assisting them in whatever way we can to provide an enriching and secure environment for their learners. We have several other projects in mind for this year and are excited to be making a difference,” says Garnett.
Moses Mampye, the principal of the school, had this to say: “Vuka’Uzenzele and the community of Nellmapius would like to thank Adams & Adams and Willow Feather Farm very much for participating in greening our school. Greening is important. We must take care of our trees, preserve them and nurture them. Soon these trees will blossom into magnificent expressions of bounty and beauty. You have made a wonderful contribution to our Land!”
Willow Feather Farm are passionate growers of indigenous trees, specialising in growing large numbers of frost hardy indigenous trees that they supply to all sectors of South Africa. They are also seen as a greening partner to many companies, providing a transparent platform for companies to reach their greening goals. Brian Geyer of Willow Feather Farm says: “Through our Corporate Greening Programme we have a goal of planting 100 000 trees every year together with our partners, thereby leaving a legacy for future generations.” His brother and partner in the business, Barry Geyer is quick to quote the famous Chinese proverb: “’The best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago. The second best time is now’”. Geyer goes on to say, that the sooner we all start planting trees the better.