Children from three schools in KwaZulu-Natal enjoyed a hands-on, fun-filled experience at the uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve, as they helped plant 250 indigenous trees as part of the Trees4KZN initiative, recently.
The brainchild of local Durban NPO, Blue Sky Society Trust (BSST), Trees4KZN is aimed at increasing the province’s tree count while educating KZN’s youth about why it is important to plant and nurture our trees.
BSST recently teamed up with IT trailblazers, Network Configurations, and WESSA uMngeni Valley for the KZN Midlands rollout.
“Great weather, magnificent surroundings and a bunch of people doing good- the feel good factor was high, said BSST founder, Carla Geyser.
Geyser added, “During my many expeditions through Africa, I have seen the negative impact of deforestation. It’s a massive problem. We need trees to survive. They provide us with oxygen, shade and beauty. What’s more, studies have shown that tree planting is a sustainable way to combat the effects of environmental pollution. So, planting more trees is crucial and we’d like to see more people involved.”
For the 50-strong Network Configurations team, the day’s experience was both priceless and humbling, knowing that the trees they helped plant would be there for generations to come.
“The children’s laughter and smiles were definitely the best part of the day,” said Ian Emmerson, managing director of Network Configurations.
Emmerson added, “Our team really enjoyed being able to work together in a natural environment, interacting with the children and witnessing their joy as they caught all kinds of creatures and learnt about nature.”
The Trees4KZN rollout received a huge thumbs up from the WESSA team that pours its heart into conservation education.
“What a fantastic initiative for our beautiful nature reserve!” said Matthew Cocks, centre manager for uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve.
The sobering message amidst a day of planting, learning and playing was not lost on the children and Cocks believes there could well have been budding environmentalists and conservationists among the group!