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Fleurhof goes green as City ends Arbor Month


Fleurhof, one of the fastest-growing housing developments in Johannesburg, entered the last phase of becoming a complete neighbourhood when learners joined Joburg City Parks & Zoo workers to plant 34 trees in the area this week.
The Thursday event – at Fleurhof Extension 5 in Region C – was also in celebration of Arbor Month.

Learners from Fleurhof Primary School, still clad in their school uniforms, dirtied their hands as they helped City Parks & Zoo workers to unwrap the plastic bags covering the trees and took turns in digging the ground to prepare for planting.

Puleng Ditabe, City Parks & Zoo Regional Manager, said the City chose Fleurhof to celebrate Arbor Month as it was a newly established area that still needed to be greened. She said the region had also upgraded the Fleurhof Park – initially developed by housing developers Calgro 3 – by adding player equipment, benches and bins and grassing the park. It also donated 400 food trees to residents, Ditabe said.

Ward 70 councillor Caleb Finn said planting trees taught the community about the value of a green culture.

Cllr Finn said Arbor Month was an opportunity to highlight the importance of trees and to get communities involved in planting them.

“This is an exciting day. We should all thank Joburg City Parks & Zoo for its efforts. This park here will take the children away from mischief,” he said.

Regional Director Mlamleli Belot said this was a living example of what happened when the City engaged the community and other stakeholders. “Section 2 of the Constitution stipulates that everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or wellbeing and to have the environment protected for the benefit of the present and future generations,” Belot said.

He said in South Africa Arbor Day was first celebrated in 1983. He said the event captured the imagination of people who recognised the need for raising awareness of the value of trees.

“Arbor Day is the time and opportunity to get community members involved in tree-planting activities. The day is usually used to balance out the green divide by planting trees in areas where previously there were no trees, such as Fleurhof. For the community, Arbor Day is an excellent opportunity to take stock of the trees and plan for the future. Inspect your trees, think about how planting new trees might improve the look of your property or provide wind or heat protection,” he said.