Greenpop Urban Greening: the year of 2016

By Helen McGlead
Greenpop spends each year in a frenzy of activity, loads of hard work and plenty of different events! Our amazing Greenpop team work tirelessly to carry out our mission; to collaborate with passionate individuals and organisations with years of experience to plant trees, grow gardens and educate for action across Southern Africa. 2016 has been no exception and our Urban Greening programme has had an amazing run this year. This blog stands to commemorate 2016 for Greenpop Urban Greening programme!
In addition to our big tree planting festivals like Platbos Reforest Fest and the Zambia Festival of Action we also work tirelessly within our Urban Greening Programme by organising and facilitating planting days at various areas around Cape Town. Through these planting days we work with schools, community centres, parks and churches to educate and green under-green urban spaces. We were able to top last year and have completed 39 plant days, with almost 1000 trees planted! In addition, we work with some of the most amazing sponsors who come through to help us facilitate and plant our trees.
Family at the Hogsback Festival of Trees
Team building at the Hague Primary School!
Photograph by Katja Schreiber 
Our largest planting site of the year was at the Ark City of Refuge. Ark City provides homes, food and a wide range of facilities  like schooling programs from creche to high school, life coaching and sports facilities.They are invested in self sufficiency and environmental improvement and their values align perfectly with the Urban Greening Programme. We were able to revisit this site and plant a further 73 trees. That makes it 140 trees in total since 2014. This is amazing news because it means that our monitoring missions saw that this site was super successful and we were able to plant more trees!

Our last planting day of the year was at the Hague Primary in Delft, where we saw a very enthusiastic group of grade 7’s meet an equally enthusiastic group of Dutch students to plant 40 trees! We had the absolute fortune of meeting the wonderful Mr. Jerome America, a teacher from the school who shares our green ethos and enthusiasm! “This is a great learning experience for the children. They will learn something today that they will never forget; it is the lessons outside the classroom that stay with you,” says Mr. America, “The children will leave a legacy at this school that they will tell their friends and children about.”

“It is the lessons outside the classroom that stay with you. The children will leave a legacy at this school that they will tell their friends and children about.”
The Greenpop nursery is a beautiful space that is so well looked after by our nursery manager, Matt and the nursery interns! This year was a year of great change where we had to kick our water management into high gear in order to adhere to the Cape Town water restrictions. We maintain to only water with a watering can, and only in the early morning or late evening! We also increased the amount of mulch in our beds so that very little evaporation takes place!

This year we added Bokashi into our compost bins. Bokashi is an inoculated bran that forms part of the anaerobic fermentation process, thereby reducing smells and introducing a natural fertiliser to soil. We also, with much excitement, introduced a beehive to our nursery! Our nursery is looking better than ever and is a safe place to keep all our amazing trees before they find their permanent home!

People with their hands in the air.
Poem hanging from a tree.
Hands planting a tree.
We would like to give special thanks to our in-kind donors who continuously support the urban greening programme month after month: Just Trees, The Pole Yard, Reliance, BOS Ice Tea, BulkSMS, Probio and HG Travel.

Thank you to each and every person who contributed, volunteered and supported the mission to green the under-greened! 2016 is an incredible testament to how much can be done with enough passion! We hope that 2017 be just as fruitful!

Interested in Urban Greening? Find out more about the work we do in Cape Town!

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