Food & Trees for Africa joined forces with SPARK Schools Soweto this month to kick off an ambitious greening initiative in Protea Glen. On 14 June, a wonderful morning was spent planting thirty indigenous shade trees. Despite a chilly morning, the participants had an abundance of energy. The highlight of the day was when Lebea Masete, School Operations Manager, encouraged the young learners to join her in the following pledge: “We promise to water these trees. We promise to love these trees.” An additional 750 fruit trees and 250 indigenous shade trees will be planted at the homes of Protea Glen community member.
The significant positive impacts of the Protea Glen greening project are already being felt in the community. The SPARK Soweto campus opened at the end of 2018 and was entirely without trees. The thirty indigenous shade trees planted here have already transformed the aesthetic of the school and will provide beauty, shade, and an enhanced sense of school pride for decades to come.
A further ten indigenous shade trees were also donated to the orphanage across the road from SPARK Soweto — thus extending the reach of the impact from the outset.
To add to this great initiative, four unemployed Protea Glen locals were trained as Community Foresters through a two-day intensive workshop at the Food & Trees for Africa offices. The passion and enthusiasm of the group for developing their communities through greening was palpable and much appreciated by the Food & Trees for Africa training staff. The knowledge and skills of these individuals were greatly enhanced as they learnt the best ways to plant, care for, and maintain both indigenous shade and fruit trees, as well as all the specifics around what it takes to be a Community Forester. Food & Trees for Africa is confident that Protea Glen now has a team of highly passionate and committed individuals who are eager to see their communities turn into lush green suburbs.