GEORGE NEWS - Following the fires that devastated parts of the area last year, Hoekwil Primary School is taking the lead in reforesting the Garden Route.
They have planted a total of 40 trees that were donated by Precious Tree Project, a Wilderness-based non-profit organisation dedicated to the regeneration of indigenous and endemic forest areas along the Garden Route.
Last week all 190 Hoekwil learners got their hands dirty and planted 15 trees at the school. The remaining 25 trees were planted over the weekend by the Precious Tree Project volunteers.
Melissa Dalton, public officer and administrator of Precious Tree Project, used the opportunity to tell the children about the importance of trees and why communities need to plant more.
"This is especially critical in areas that function as 'green lungs' in South Africa, as the Garden Route does. This area is home to the largest indigenous forest complex in the country. This highlights the importance of preserving our forests and growing more trees," said Dalton.
Learners were taught how to correctly dig holes for trees, remove trees from their bags, place and plant them and how to feed them.
Hoekwil Primary School principal, Flippie Grobbelaar, said the school recognises its crucial role in not only arming children with excellent academic skills, but real-world knowledge too.
"It's a fact, we need more trees in our communities, and more people to realise their importance. If we can get our children to embrace that idea and become tree advocates, then there is hope for the future.
"Our tree planting initiative was important on so many levels, both for us as a school and for our young learners. We are very grateful to Precious Tree Project for assisting us in this regard," he said.
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