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Saturday, August 30, 2008

It’s tree planting time again

It's national Arbor Week next week and everyone has been urged to plant a tree. Joburg is taking up the lead, and will plant more than 60 000 trees in September.

ANOTHER sapling will be added to Madiba's collection of birthday trees in Thokoza Park, Soweto, to mark his 90th birthday, and the 90 990th tree planted for the Soweto Greening project.

Taking place on 4 September, the occasion will also mark the start of a month of tree planting for the City of Johannesburg as part of national Arbor Week.

"On the day, 1 000 trees will be planted at various institutions around Thokoza," says Jenny Moodley, the media spokesperson for City Parks. Madiba will be present to cut the ceremonial ribbon around the wild olive that will be planted in his honour.

In July 2007, the City planted 89 trees in Thokoza Park to honour Nelson Mandela during his birthday month, with the promise that a new tree would be added each year.

The tree that Madiba will be planting will be for ceremonial purposes only as City Parks has already planted all these trees, Moodley confirms. The more than 90 000 trees have been planted along main arterials leading into Soweto as well as throughout the township to green one of Johannesburg's most populated, but barren areas.

And it is a landmark target for the Soweto Greening project which is now approaching its third year. The project officially kicked off in September 2006 when Executive Mayor Amos Masondo planted the first 6 000 trees.

The target for the project is to plant 200 000 trees in the next three years. The Soweto Greening project has since also been extended to other marginalised areas, Moodley confirms.

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