Students Plant Trees on Howard College Campus
Students from the School of Built Environment and Development Studies (BEDS) planted indigenous trees supplied by the UKZN nursery on the Howard College campus as part of their Environment and Development masters module.
The students were led by colleague and tree activist Mr Justin Bradfield and their Lecturer, Ms Catherine Sutherland.
‘Justin approached me to plant trees as part of my Environment and Development module and I thought it was an excellent idea,’ said Sutherland.
‘We always have a field trip for this module and each year students give something back as part of their learning. This year Justin took the initiative to organise this which was fantastic. I think it is a great idea for students to plant a tree on campus and to leave something that will grow into a beautiful reflection of nature’s energy.’
Bradfield said: ‘I have been a "tree activist" for many years, planting trees in cities from Pretoria, to Rome and Dhaka. It is part of my mission to educate people about the benefits of trees and to try to stop trees from being cut down due to unregulated development. I feel it is necessary to not only learn about the environment, but also for students to leave a positive legacy. We have done this through planting new indigenous trees on campus.’
The module teaches students about the effects of climate change and natural resource management on people and the cities in which they live. ‘Tree planting is an important part of augmenting a city's resilience, reducing urban heat islands, water run-off and promoting diversity. Therefore, tree planting ties in nicely with the theory,’ said Bradfield.
‘Trees are not only beautiful, but vital to the ecology and environmental services of the city. Durban is extremely lucky to have such a beautiful tree cover but we need to fight to keep it and every person has a responsibility to do so.’
He believes that tree planting helps students move beyond theory and actually apply what they learn in a small way. ‘It's also good for students to leave a legacy of their time at UKZN, and also improve the biodiversity of our campus.’