Arbor Week is from 1–7 September every year. Two trees, one common and one rare, are highlighted to increase public awareness of indigenous trees, while various "greening" activities are undertaken by schools, businesses and other organizations.
This year we celebrated Arbor Week by sharing our “schools forest trip” experience with school teachers and educationalists. Journalist Indlovukazi Ngumbela from Grocott's Mail tells the story.
The forest trip is a regular outing for grade 10 pupils from seven Grahamstown schools (Mary Waters, Nombulelo, Ntsika, Nyaluza, Mahlasela, Mrwetyana and Khutliso) We have taken just over 600 pupils to our special little forest patch since we started in 2009 and have received positive feedback from pupils, teachers and the department of education.
Although we link the discussions to the life sciences curriculum when the opportunity arises the exercise is more about providing a powerful, long lasting experience (the value of a nature experience for urban young people is well documented).
Occasionally Mluleki meets pupils in the street who are still excited about the trip – months, even years later!