I am attaching a digital brochure on TreeKeepers, which I encourage you to pass onto other interested parties. Download Brochure (Pdf)
TreeKeepers is a non-profit organisation of concerned citizens aimed at advocacy and education to maintain and conserve large, mature trees on public streets, parks and private properties in Cape Town and to increase the city’s tree canopy. The current drought has made tree planting an expensive and onerous exercise and made us emphasise the conservation of mature trees, irrespective whether they are exotic or indigenous. Large, mature trees provide measurable health benefits by sequestering carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, reducing temperatures through creating shade and moisture in the atmosphere, cleanse the air of pollutants, lower noise pollution and reduce overall stress. At the same time, the roots stabilise the soil and slow the groundwater flow, thus reducing erosion. To top it all are the aesthetics of the green foliage and the support of biodiversity. All this promotes a better quality of life for future generations.
TreeKeepers are based in Kenilworth and work closely with the Councillors in Wards 58, and 59, as well as the Recreation and Parks Dept, based at Newlands Forest (Johann Herholdt and Susan Steyn ). We have visited Pierre Hoffa, the local Development Manager, who has stressed the densification policy of the City, but he has started referring developers to us to encourage them to minimise the trees to be felled. Unfortunately preserving trees is low on the agenda of developers and Cape Town’s tree canopy is shrinking. The only way to counter this is for the City’s tree policy to gain a higher priority.
With the severity of the storms and droughts resulting from global warming, growing tree canopies has international relevance, focussing on the long-term health benefits to urban residents. Researchers have been able to translate these benefits into lower health and energy costs. The latter has encouraged many countries to commit themselves to the Paris Climate Accord in 2015 to double their tree canopies by 2040 and leading international cities have already started.
I have given talks on the benefits of trees. Two of my presentations were to the sales staff of estate agents. In addition, TreeKeepers have had discussions with the Bishopscourt Residents Association. I can do the same for you.