Urban Greening Project at songo.info Clubhouse


Trees South Africa donate indigenous trees to spruce-up the urban environment around songo.info’s Kayamandi clubhouse.

Nestled within Kayamandi, education and sporting charity, songo.info’s clubhouse used to be situated in a dust bowl. The brightly painted walls were the only colour in a space dominated by a car park and the programme’s clay surfaced BMX track. In summer the fine red soil drifted in clouds across the track and caked against the clubhouse walls as the charity’s 70 children raced their bikes up and down the track.

This winter, with the donations of Trees South Africa and a number of private supporters songo.info has taken up the task of greening their clubhouse grounds. Initially a number of small trees were planted along the side of the BMX track to catch the dust. Then a wooden obstacle course was built, for the children to play on when they are not riding their bikes or completing school work under the watchful eye of the songo.info tutors. On Friday, 30 August, Trees South Africa completed phase one of the programme by planting two ficus trees.

The Ficus Microcarpa and Ficus Natalensis trees were hoisted into the ground in 1 000 litre growing bags. The fast-growing indigenous trees can grow up two 20 metres in height and provide an impressive canopy, which will in years to come cast shade over the obstacle course during Stellenbosch’s hot summer months. The next phase of the programme will see the ground levelled under the trees and lawns planted to provide a pleasant outdoor space for the children to relax in and where they could even do homework outdoors.

“We would like to thank Trees South Africa, and Dag Willems their managing director, along with our generous private donors for making this possible” Julia Skea, one of songo.info’s trustees, thanked. “It is our dream to create a safe and beautiful place for the children in the programme to play and learn. Providing an inspirational environment is a big part of that dream and this is a great step towards it.”

“songo.info is fortunate to be geographically situated within Stellenbosch, which has an active and charitable mountain biking community. Without the on-going support of these individuals, and the businesses they own, the charity would not be able to improve the lives of so many children from one of the area’s poorest neighbourhoods” Skea concluded.