About 2 000 indigenous trees are earmarked for planting in the Johannesburg Inner City this September as a symbolic expression of sustainable environmental management.
The bulk of those trees will be planted at the historic Brixton Cemetery to create a green hedge around the 116-year-old graveyard.
The Executive Mayor, Cllr Jolidee Matongo, says the City will use September, dubbed Arbor month, to highlight Brixton Cemetery’s rich historical heritage while simultaneously tackling green challenges in the Inner City.
Cllr Matongo was joined by the MMC of Community Development, Cllr Margaret Arnolds, at the graveyard on Wednesday, 1 September 2021 to kick off Arbor month with the green fencing initiative. The City will use Arbor month as a symbolic gesture to plant indigenous trees ahead of the spring season and to motivate the nation to plant and conserve trees.
“National Arbor week should serve to enlighten the nation about the value of trees and forests in people’s daily lives. It is an opportune time to call on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management,” Cllr Matongo explains.
The City’s theme for this year’s Arbor Month is forest restoration, a path to recovery and well-being.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is today,” Cllr Matongo adds, quoting a Chinese proverb.
He notes that this year’s Arbor Month activities are also designed to address historical greening disparities in Johannesburg and are aimed at combating environmental degradation and offsetting the impact of climate change.
“Planting trees today is our way of thanking those who planted trees before us and declaring ourselves available in the campaign to defend our shared heritage as given to us by mother nature,” he says.
Cllr Arnolds notes that the municipality is looking forward to expanding green lungs in the Inner City, making sure Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo plant fruit trees to eradicate hunger through the provision of food.
“Arbor month aims to inspire people globally to take action in restoring our earth to its natural splendour,” she says.
Written by Gontse ‘GeE’ Hlophe