Inspiring the foresters of the future
In celebration of Arbor Month, and Merensky’s value of Health, Safety and Well-being, the Singisi Forest Products’ community development team guided learners from ten local schools, in the Umuziwabantu Local Municipality, on a short hike through the Ingeli Indigenous Forest Trail near Harding, KZN.
The schools participate in the Schools Environmental Education Programme (S.E.E.P) which integrates environmental education into the curriculum. The tours provide awareness about the value of trees, both their ecological and their medicinal value. Learners were shown ways in which they can help protect South Africa’s indigenous forests. They were allowed to collect the seeds of indigenous trees and learnt how to germinate and care for these.
High School learners also learned more about the timber industry and what it has to offer with tours of the Merensky plantations and the lumber processing facilities. They were provided with vocational guidance about the many career opportunities in the forestry and sawmilling industries. “We will need generations of people to care for our forests. At Merensky, we understand the importance of inspiring and attracting the next generation of foresters, nursery assistants, sawmill production managers, machine operators and researchers. We are capturing the imagination of our youth and showing them the potential of what the industry has to offer.” Christel Louw, Merensky Communication Team.