Reforest Fest 2019 – 9800 indigenous trees were planted in just 2 days!
By Amy Falconer
This year’s Reforest Fest was truly showed the power of positive collective action, and the profound difference a community of environmentally conscious people can achieve. We left Platbos forest with warm hearts after meeting so many friendly faces in the planting site. With over 2300 trees were planted on the Family Weekend and 7500 during the Friends Weekend, The most ever planted by Greenpop with 9500 trees planted in just two weekends! These little saplings were planted with love and compassion by over 520 families at the Family Weekend, and 680 guests at the Friends Weekend. A HUGE thank you must go to Francois and Melissa and their team for hosting us in the beautiful Platbos Forest Reserve.
Among the hundreds of guests at Family Weekend were some amazing groups of students that joined us in the forest! At the Family Weekend, the DEEP Ambassador group of children attended sponsored by Marine Dynamics, a group from CTEET (The Cape Town Environmental Trust), The Green Girls Group from Princess Vlei and some local children from the Blompark area. We so appreciate their contribution and are so inspired by them!
At the Friends Weekend, we were honoured to host a group of students from Stellenbosch University and from Activate Leadership. There are so many young people taking the future of the planet into their own hands and we are honoured to be a part of their environmental journey.
There are so many highlights from the past two weekends… but I think we can all agree that the food and drinks available fuelled our powerful planting people! A big thank you to Urban Vegan, Pesto Princess and That Mayo for the delicious Burger Bar and to Wazoogles and ButtaNut for the Oat Bar, as well as Strongbow, Leonista, BREW Kombucha, Stellar Winery, SIR Fruit, Jack Black, Cape Cola and BOS for keeping us all hydrated on and off the planting site! We thought the food vendors were all incredible and a big thank you to Oh So Peachy, Vintage Vinyl Cafe, Social Food Club, The Urban Vegan Green Canteen, Love Pizza, The Pancake People and Tribe Coffee.
Throughout Reforest Fest, we were spoilt with the best soundtrack we could imagine! From KhoisanBoy-Man, Nomadic Orchestra, Ernestine Deane, Brian Ernst and Jeri Silverman at Family Weekend to Don’t Poke the Bear, Devin Harmer, The Steezies, Grassy Spark, Frances Clare, Vukazithathe, DJ CrashLove and Toby2shoes at Friends Weekend, I think even the trees were swaying on the beat!
Besides the amazing music, Reforest Fest attendees were spoilt for choice with all the activities on offer! Thank you to ReUnion Yoga, the Joy Movement and The Heart Space team for their presence and energy during the festival and for keeping us mindful, happy and flexible!
Francois Krige from the Platbos Reserve led numerous guided forest walks which were described as eye-opening and enlightening by attendees, so we are beyond grateful to Francois for these. His knowledge about and respect for the forest is something we can all admire. We are eternally grateful for Francois and Krige Tree Services Team for all that they do to make Reforest Fest a possibility.
We had a number of incredible talks and workshops at the Thetha Conversation Canopy – clearly, we have some revolutionaries in our midst and their ideas and stories connected us as a community and provided some valuable perspective on a number of fascinating topics including “AnimalSpirit” with Anna Breytenbach, ‘Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature” by Ian McCallum, “Global Unity and Collaboration for a Cultural Metamorphosis”by Yan Golding, “This T-shirt is made from Plastic Bottles” by Kara Levy of PETCO, “Indigenous Plant Medicine” by Carlo Randall and “Festivals, A Way to Sustainable Living” by Camila Lopez to name a few.
This year’s attendees and vendors truly embraced the zero waste ethos and we were only left with half a black bag of rubbish cleared from the campsite after the dust had settled! Thank you to our waste management team and the Two Oceans Aquarium, Recycle 1st and The Beach Co-Op for the waste education and efforts throughout the event. Thank you to Better Earth for their earth-friendly cleaning products and to Essential Green for their Bio-Degradable loo roll ensuring that we tread lightly.
We hope you left Reforest Fest 2019 as re-connected with nature as we were.
“The decoding of the human genome tells us that we are indeed related to the animals, the insects, and the plants, and that, like it or not, Earth is where we belong.” – Ian McCallum, Ecological Intelligence: Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature
Thank you to all the partners and sponsors that made Reforest Fest the inspiring and uplifting event that it was: Build It Gansbaai, Better Earth, OK Foods Gansbaai, AGT Foods, Generator & Plant Hire South Africa, Ou Meul, Six Kingdoms, Cape Union Mart/K-Way, Petco, Mars Music, Tribe Coffee, Valley Farm Apples, Cape Nature, Primedia, Avis George, SAE, 2 Oceans Aquarium, Paper Chain, The Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Marine Dynamics, CTEET, Activate Leadership, Platbos Forest Reserve, Krige Tree Services, Overstrand Municipality, Western Cape Government, Sustainable.co.za, Gansbaai Municipality, Beyond Meat, ProVeg, Dimension Tents, Recycle 1st, The Beach Co-Op.
Greenpop Foundation NPC is a registered non-profit organisation. Registration Number (NPO): 151-411 NPO.