Greening Urban Spaces: January 2017
We had just one planting day this month, on January 25th, and it was an energizing way to kick off a fresh new year of urban greening! The sun was already hot on our backs as we loaded up the bakkie to head to St. Augustine’s RC Primary. We were joined by 18 fantastic and hard-working volunteers from Propel Africa, coming all the way from Sweden! As we move into a greener 2017, here’s an inside look into what a Greenpop Planting Day is like.
The students at St Augustine’s welcomed their visitors with a beautiful onstage performance. One group recited a perfectly fitting poem by Joyce Kilmer: “I think that I shall never see/ a poem lovely as a tree.” They were followed by a choir of students, who sang a moving rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” as the audience clapped and swayed along. We were so grateful to be treated to such a thoughtful gift. Thank you so much, St. Augustine’s!
Next up was a environmental workshop led by Bhongo, Greenpop’s Planting & Monitoring Coordinator. Students and donors worked together to act out each benefit that trees have for us — creating oxygen, offering shade, bearing fruit, and more. We also talked about our power as individuals, even in the frightening face of climate change. Next, Greenpop’s Urban Greening Manager Farrah showed us all how to plant a tree, and the planting process could begin!
Once everyone had brushed the dirt from their hands, we closed the day with a ceremony. “We promise to water and care for our trees as long as we are here. Before we leave, we promise to teach others so they will follow in our green footsteps,” read Bhongo, a pledge which the students repeated, holding up their green thumbs. We know that these students will tend their trees with love for years into the future.
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