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Monday, March 30, 2009

Plant a tree for every employee

Companies have been urged to come on board and plant a tree for every one of their employees. Trees help fight global warming and look good too.

City Parks is urging companies to donate and plant a tree for every employee in support of Joburg's campaign to plant 200 000 trees as a legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Jenny Moodley, the utility's spokesperson, says that not only will the tree planting be for 2010, but it will also improve the quality of the environment in under-developed townships before the end of the year.

"An average of 150 trees need to be planted to offset the carbon emissions of one person and City Parks is urging all businesses - including tree growers, cellphone providers, the construction industry, mining houses, financial institutions and vehicle manufacturers - to donate a tree for every employee in your organisation. This programme affords both small and big businesses a platform to offset their emissions based on their employee complement.

"It also encourages organisations to adopt the tree-planting programme as part of their corporate social investment initiative and organisations are further encouraged to use the programme as a team-building exercise to nurture healthy lifestyles," says Moodley.

"City Parks needs to intensify tree planting in areas such as Cosmo City, Ivory Park, Soweto, Eldorado Park, Lenasia, Westbury, Midrand, Roodepoort and Alexandra, with additional trees required to beautify main arterials, including 2010 routes to Soccer City and key tourist destinations ... 1 000 to 10 000 trees need to be planted per suburb."

The tree-planting project started in 2004, and already 136 000 trees have been planted in partnership with government departments, residents and businesses. The programme is transforming dry and dusty streets into tree-lined corridors that "act as a catalyst for environmental enhancement and socio-economic empowerment".

Trees reduce the effects of climate change by absorbing pollutants such as carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They act as coolants, are used for medicinal purposes and as a source of food; they increase property values and the aesthetics of an area, generate civic pride, provide a habitat for valuable biodiversity, absorb car lights at night and act as a barrier against sound.

"The price of a street tree may vary from R500 to R1 200, depending on the species, age, size and girth. Ideally, City Parks aims to plant more established street trees versus saplings, as saplings are more likely to be damaged due to inclement weather and pedestrian traffic. We want interested parties to contact us as soon as possible because there is a limitation on tree planting over seasons. We need a commitment so that we can start planting trees after winter season."

Those interested in participating in the planting of trees, can call 011 712 6600 or send an email to

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The painting is by Alfred Glendening

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