The Greening Mamelodi Project is a community outreach project of the Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre. In 2008 Graham Beck visited the centre and volunteered to start a greening project in Mamelodi motivated by his love of trees and to promote a visible community driven urban greening initiative.
The National Lottery Board and Bidvest have also supported the project and to date has planted over 26500 trees. It operates on an entry level environmental education platform to engage, train and empower the community in the basics of urban greening on where and how to plant a tree and how to maintain them.
We start by engaging with community structures through the ward councilor to promote the program and get support on a municipal ward level. The ward councilor then finds volunteers who attend training to learn to be community foresters. The training involves educating community members on where to plant trees on a property, how to plant trees and how to maintain the trees. The training also covers the social, communal, environmental, and economic benefits of trees, where residents are educated on the importance of trees and other introductory environmental issues, such as waste management, grey water and recycling.
The community foresters then go door to door distributing resource materials on the program and how to plant a tree and getting people to dig holes in their yards. We then facilitate a distribution event where community members come to collect their Fruit and indigenous shade trees all over 1 meter in size, suitable for the Highveld and take them home to plant. We then monitor the planting over the following weeks, months and years.