Local non-profit organisation Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) has kicked off its ambitious ‘Forest Protea Glen’ project by planting 30 trees at SPARK Schools’ Soweto campus – the first batch of more than 1100 trees which will be planted in the area.
The project, which will see 1000 shade and fruit trees planted at homes and 100 at schools in the area, is a result of a partnership between FTFA and SPARK Schools. It has already created work opportunities for a number of local unemployed youth, who have been trained as community foresters and educators.
SPARK Soweto principal Gundo Mmbi, said tree-planting and urban forestry programmes were a vital part of community mobilisation, and demonstrated a commitment to both the environment and the local community.
“By partnering with FTFA on their Trees for Homes and Trees for All programmes, we’re helping to transform our school and community into a healthier, more sustainable environment while importantly creating environmental awareness and stewardship amongst our scholars,” she said.
Emily Jones, Trees and Carbon Programme Manager at FTFA, said trees played a critical role in regenerating and rehabilitating environments, improving air quality, decreasing noise pollution, settling dust, improving thermal efficiency and increasing the value of properties.
“Planting trees really is a long-term commitment to a community. We specifically choose fruit and indigenous shade trees that are well suited to be grown in the area, and the community will benefit from fruit production, shade and a more diverse landscape for years to come,” she said.