It’s that time of year when you need to start planning a trip to the Eastern Cape to plant trees and make a difference. Set in the majestic Amathole mountain range near Hogsback in the Eastern Cape, Terra-Khaya backpackers is once again partnering with Greenpop and gearing up to host this year’s Festival of Trees, aimed at rebuilding the local ecosystem, one sapling at a time. From 22 to 25 September 2017, the festival will celebrate one of South Africa’s natural gems and actively involve attendees in preserving it from threats of deforestation and invader species. Scheduled to be a week of workshops, talks, various activities, and of course tree-planting followed by two days of local music and celebration, the annual festival has become recognised as one of the landmark events on the South African green community calendar.
With a strong primary focus on indigenous reforestation of the area, the Festival of Trees calls on hundreds of attendees from across the country to participate in the restoration of the local ecosystem. The area boasts one of Southern Africa’s richest forests with 1215 endemic plant species, which are under severe threat from ever-expanding invader species such as wattle, as well as habitat reduction and soil erosion caused by numerous other factors. The effects of these are long-lasting and widespread, endangering local vegetation, in some cases to the point of extinction.
So Terra-Khaya has teamed up with long time partners Greenpop, a Cape Town-based urban greening and reforestation organisation. By bringing people together for the common cause, the festival is set out with an aim of planting thousands of indigenous trees of various species, using an inter-planting method whereby attendees plant young saplings between thinned-out older trees that will provide a natural “nursery” environment for them to thrive in. The festival also serves as a flagship event for the reforestation movement, raising awareness around the issue and spreading the word of its importance to the planet’s ecosystem as a whole.
On top of the tree-planting and reforestation, there will be a host of several activities and experiences for attendees to participate in and enjoy. Ranging from musical performances by esteemed local bands, performers and DJs, to yoga sessions, fire dancing, workshops and hikes through the breath-taking surrounding landscape, visitors will be offered a wide variety of interesting, educational and participative creative experiences in a truly unique natural setting. With a top quality musical lineup and many other local artists; walks and tours hosted by Terra-Khaya founder Shane Eades; isiXhosa language workshops by Ubuntu Bridge; and numerous courses including permaculture, natural building, foraging, beekeeping, natural horsemanship and herbal medicine; visitors will have no shortage of educational and entertaining things to do.
Terra-Khaya will be offering delectable vegetarian meals throughout the week, as well as play host to the majority of attendees who camp on the grounds. Festival tickets are available at R580 for adults and R480 for children (ages 4-12), and include camping at Terra-Khaya for three nights, three meals on the planting day, and trees for planting. All that visitors will need to organise is food for the eco-week, camping gear and transport to the campsite. This event is set out to be an all-round enjoyable experience for all involved, with an abundance of interesting things to do and experts to learn from. Environmentalists are invited to come and participate in some true green activism, visit the oldest Yellowwood in the Eastern Cape, engage with like-minded individuals, express their creativity, dance under the stars, and embrace nature.
The Essential Details
- When: 22 to 25 September 2017
- Where: Terra-Khaya Backpackers, Hogsback
- More information: www.facebook.com/events/634818163373572
- Terra-Khaya: www.terrakhaya.co.za
Greenpop is on a mission to (re)connect people with our planet. They plant trees and have fun doing it. They plant trees in urban greening and reforestation projects and host green events, educational workshops and festivals of action to inspire people to get active about a sustainable future. Learn more at www.greenpop.org and connect on Facebook for updates. Telephone is +27 (0)21 461 9265 and Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A note from me about Greenpop
I have been a supporter of Greenpop and the work that they do for about3-4 years, and have joined them on plant days in Khayelitsha, Platbos and Zambia. It is the easiest and most tangible way to make a difference and the atmosphere of the team is infectious. I highly recommend that you join them to see what I mean.