UCT was on hand (with a shovel or two) to see some leafy, new inhabitants bed down in Mowbray recently. Thirty young saplings were planted on the centre island along Main Road (between Settlers Way and Victoria Rd).
Ward Councillor Owen Kinahan spearheaded the initiative and paid tribute to Peter Boise and his team from the City's Parks Department for their hard work in preparing the holes and planting the Celtis sinesis
, so successful in St George's Mall and Adderley Street.
Assisting the City's team in their task were other representatives from a wide range of civic and NGO bodies in Mowbray, the Mowbray Mosque and Baptist Church, the Transport Interchange and rank manager, the Technikon and businesses of long-standing in Main Road. John Criten, Executive Director of UCT Properties and Services, was also in attendance.
Kinahan said the Mowbray CBD had been in the doldrums for a number of years and it was hoped that environmental improvements such as the tree planting would begin a restoration of confidence in the area.
â€œThe Main Street programme in the United States has been spectacularly successful as communities have reclaimed older precincts and spruced them up. A coat of paint, signage that is well mannered or even a planter of colourful flowers outside your front door; all are achievable and affordable responses to a downward trend.
"I think we can catch Mowbray in time, otherwise we could be facing a level of degradation such as Salt River Main Road within a short space of time.â€
The plan is to extend the centre-island planting from Victoria Road towards Rosebank next year and to begin replanting Rhodes Avenue with cork oaks.