Celebrating the transformative power of trees during Arbor Week

In celebration of Arbor Week*, the North-West University's (NWU’s) Mahikeng Campus took a bold step toward transforming its surroundings and championing sustainability.

On 10 October 2023, under the leadership of Prof Sonia Swanepoel, the deputy vice-chancellor for community engagement and Mahikeng Campus operations, the university community came together to create lush and environmentally friendly spaces through a tree-planting initiative.

The planting event, which took place near the Mechanical Tree and in the vicinity of student residences, featured the addition of lemon trees to the campus landscape.

"Arbor Day is a special occasion that celebrates the beauty and importance of trees in our environment. It's a day dedicated to planting trees and fostering a sense of environmental responsibility," said Prof Swanepoel. "We believe that every tree planted brings us one step closer to a greener, healthier future for our community."

She added that the university recognises the significance of environmental conservation and is committed to simultaneously enhancing its campus aesthetics while reducing its carbon footprint.

"This initiative not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the campus, but also contributes to cleaner air and a healthier environment for all. We are prioritising sustainability by adopting tree-planting programmes, ensuring a green future for generations to come," said Prof Swanepoel.

*South Africa annually celebrates Arbor Week in the first week of September, calling on all South Africans to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management.

Arbor Day serves as a catalyst for inspiring communities to protect the planet. As students, educators, and eco-enthusiasts unite in tree planting, they cultivate a sense of environmental stewardship that will endure long after the celebrations conclude.

This Arbor Day, let us recognise the transformative power of trees in shaping a sustainable future and take action to green our campuses and communities.


Towards a greener campus: Prof Sonia Swanepoel gets her hands dirty planting a lemon tree while NWU mascot Eagi and colleagues cheer her on.

Submitted on Thu, 10/12/2023 - 12:45