Rotary eClub One, District 5450
World's 1st eClub (Jan 2002)

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Challenge Accepted

Rotarians in District 9350 have responded to RI President Ian Riseley’s 1:1 tree planting challenge with great enthusiasm. The initiative to plant one tree for every Rotarian is supported and encouraged by District Governor Lynette Stassen and the District 9350 Environmental Sustainability Committee.

The trees that the Rotary Club of Plettenberg Bay planted at Harkerville School will provide children with shade for many years to come.

Several clubs have taken up the challenge and at last count 163 trees had been planted by the clubs. There are approximately 1 200 Rotarians in D9350 and the district is confident the challenge will be successfully met.

In addition to being encouraged to plant trees, clubs in D9350 have also been encouraged to undertake other sustainable environmental projects. Should they do so before 30 June 2018 the clubs will have achieved two of the Humanitarian Service goals needed to qualify for an RI Presidential Citation.

The Rotary Club of Plettenberg Bay decided to plant a tree for each member of the club before the end of summer. The Rotarians felt that planting trees is a ‘Good Thing to Do’ at any time but is an especially ‘Good Thing to Do’ after the recent fires that ravaged the area.

The first step was to find a place to plant the trees where they would be cared for as the last thing the club wanted was to find the trees dead within six months. It was decided that the best place would be at the Harkerville School, as they would be cared for.

Next the club needed to identify what type of trees to plant; they needed to be indigenous species that would grow well on the sunny playground.

Jean Sparg, a local tree expert, chose the most suitable tree species (Essenhout, Wild Plum, Yellowwood, Wit-Els and Tarchonanthus) and helped plant them. Two Keurboom, which are the sprinters of the tree world, were planted and should be well on their way to ceiling height by the end of summer.

A Spekboom tree was planted for each of the 25 Rotarians of the Rotary Club of George. The trees were donated by the Rotarians and their partners who planted them in an area of the George Botanical Gardens. The Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) is an indigenous succulent that helps fight air pollution as it has the ability to capture more than four tons of carbon per hectare!

Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Pinelands visited Oppie Koppie Crèche in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet, just outside Ceres, to plant trees. The crèche is funded by the Vuya Foundation and its chairperson, Mercia Isaacs, and her staff helped the Rotarians and their families and friends plant six trees. The adorable children were quick to help and excitedly used their mini wheelbarrows to help fill the holes with compost and soil.


  • First published in Rotary Africa, a member of the Rotary World Magazine Press

  • The opinions expressed in this make-up article do not necessarily represent the opinions of Rotary eClub One and its editorial staff

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