The effectiveness of schools-based National Arbor Week activities in greening of urban homesteads: A case study of Grahamstown, South Africa

Parkin, F. and Shackleton, C.M. and Schudel, Ingrid (2006) The effectiveness of schools-based National Arbor Week activities in greening of urban homesteads: A case study of Grahamstown, South Africa. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 5 (4). pp. 177-187. ISSN 1618-8667



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Arbor Day, or Week, is a well-established greening initiative worldwide, focusing on tree planting and the benefits thereof. Frequently most effort is targeted at institutions such as schools and community groups. Yet there has been limited assessment of the success of Arbor Day, or Week, activities both at the schools, or the wider dissemination in neighbouring communities and suburbs. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of school-based Arbor Week activities on learners’ home-based practices regarding tree planting and urban forestry. Learners from three schools in Grahamstown, South Africa, with good Arbor Week participation, were assessed on their tree planting knowledge. The learners’ parents were also interviewed to determine whether the information obtained by the learners at school was taken home. A control group consisting of people with no children or very young children was also assessed. This study found that Arbor Week activities were, for the most part, successfully taught in the case study schools, and most of the learners stated that their knowledge of trees and their benefits came from their school activities. However, many learners could not remember the activities in which their schools partook the previous year. Whilst most learners were aware of the importance of trees, few had encouraged tree planting at home. However, over one-fifth of adults claimed that their knowledge of the benefits of trees was as a consequence of Arbor Day activities when they were young. Numerous constraints to tree planting were provided by learners and both the adult groups, the two most frequent being limited space and falling leaves making their yards untidy. External organisations should become more actively involved and provide much needed support systems if greening initiatives are to reach the wider community.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Environmental education; Transfer of knowledge; Tree planting; Urban greening; South Africa; Grahamstown; National Arbor Week
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Environmental Science
ID Code:391
Deposited By: Mrs Eileen Shepherd
Deposited On:20 Nov 2006
Last Modified:01 Aug 2012 12:34
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