Kruger Park kicks off Arbor Week at adopted school

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
By: 
Siphiwe Nyathi

Komatipoort - School children got their hands dirty and planted 25 indigenous trees as part of the Kruger National Park's Arbor Week celebrations. 

Pupils at Mjejane Primary School, near Komatipoort, were encouraged to become part of the nationwide Arbor Week campaign that runs from 1 - 7 September to green communities.

"I have learned a lot today and I am glad that our school will no longer look the same. I will also encourage my community to plant trees instead of [just] grass and flowers," said Ayanda Nkosi, 9, who helped plant trees.

Kruger managing executive Abe Sibiya said the world famous park had adopted the primary school in 2007.

"We want the school and surrounding community to become healthy, learning centres through our greening initiatives," said Sibiya.

He said initiatives like Arbor Week gave disadvantaged pupils an opportunity to learn about environmental issues.

"The idea is to spread the conservation gospel among these future conservationists [and] to also ensure they play a meaningful part in the environmental sector. Starting a vegetable garden can give pupils a quality environmental record and more, they can boost their diet with the healthiest home grown foods," he said.

Sibiya said Kruger officials would visit other schools, especially those that cater for communities who live along the park.

He said many community members chopped down trees for no good reason while others did so to clear land for farming.

He emphasized that trees needed to be protected.

"Trees not only provide a home for wildlife, shade and fresh air, but have a potential of providing tourism attractions for visitors, thereby increasing revenue," said Sibiya. - BuaNews