Stellenbosch Million Trees Project
Stellenbosch Municipality is making an unprecedented statement in terms of its commitment to care for the environment. Through the Million Trees Project, we wish to reinforce the drive towards home-style communities: friendly, supportive, providing shelter and jobs. Taking into account the looming threat of global warming, we must do what we can to stop this slide toward catastrophe. We need to think anew! This initiative is a comprehensive approach involving all residents, businesses, authorities and land owners. Everyone is encouraged to plant and care for trees across the 900 km2 of the Municipality. A key focus of the project is to ‘green the townships’- planting up the informal settlements and other areas previously not greened and those where high density developments prevented the planting of trees. Urban forests and green corridors are the green lungs that will pump life-supporting oxygen into our living space. The wish is for everybody to become active Ambassadors for Nature. This implies working constantly to regenerate and replenish our natural resources; trees, water and air. Nature is one of the best teachers and she will inspire the creative educational programmes that will nurture renewed respect and love for the environment, regenerating our close bonds with, and dependency on our natural environment. The true value and potential of trees is often understated and undermined. A treed environment contributes to the psychological well-being of human beings- it fosters tranquility and calm. A treed suburb fosters community pride- as was proven by the launch of the Watergang Housing project in 2008. Along the main road an avenue of trees was planted and each new resident received a tree as a gift. Various ornamental and vegetable gardens sprang up and the area still is always neat and tidy, contributing indirectly to its economic and social prosperity. Mayor Sidego says, ‘If you can look after a tree, you will care for a child’. And that is the legacy of the Million Tree Project…for our children.
- Stellenbosch Municipality was awarded first prize in their category for the National Arbor City Award 2014