The interest in the project to take care of our Historic Oak Avenue has been enormous. Various organisations, individuals and groups have come together to make this happen. In order to bring everybody up to speed with what has happened in the past few weeks, I would like to report as follows:
- The most urgent matter at the moment is to find enough money to buy the extra 20 trees from the supplier. We have had some enquiries, but so far only received a payment of R3 000 in the bank account of Heritage Potchefstroom Erfenis. We would appreciate it if everybody could make an endeavour to find more people and/or businesses to donate money. The trees are to be ordered shortly and we would like to be able to order the extra 20 trees for phase 1. Twenty trees x R800 each = R16 000.00.
- Any donation is welcome, but in order to not only sponsor the cost of buying a tree, but to also provide for the planting, repairs to a defunct but existing irrigation system and a fence around the trees in areas with high volumes of traffic, a donation per tree of R3000 can be made. Payment can be made into the following bank account: Heritage Potchefstroom Erfenis, ABSA, cheque account, number: 680 790 582, branch code: 632 005, reference “EIKE” and the name of the donor or business. Regrettably, businesses cannot "adopt" trees, but they can donate one.
- A property owner on the Bult between Borcherds and Meyer Street, who has a borehole on his property, is willing to supply water for an irrigation system for the trees on the eastern side of that block to irrigate the trees. Expertise on the kind of irrigation system and the amount of water to be allocated to each tree is needed. Could Prof Sarel Cilliers and Chris van Niekerk from the Botanical Gardens be of assistance here? Please also advise us on the names and contact details of possible sponsors and companies who would be able to install an irrigation system. Depending on the cost, the owner will also contribute all/parts of the irrigation cost.
- Johann Haupt, Jaco Esterhuysen and Jolita Janse van Rensburg spearheaded an ambitious project to take care of the trees on the western side of Steve Biko Avenue from Meyer to Gerrit Dekker Street. They are joining hands with the NWU in doing so. Plans are underway to extend gardens under the trees from the UMM Lofts (previous UniLofts) to the entrance to the university at the western end of Gerrit Dekker Street.
- The Potchefstroom Art Society are planning a tree wrapping/installation art event during Aardklop.
- The Art Society, in collaboration with the Potchefstroom Museum, will have an exhibition with the Oak Avenue and trees as theme, in November. Artists are invited to submit a painting or other art work. Contact Elmarie Weyers at the Museum for more details.
- We are anxiously awaiting the reports of the students of Karen Puren and Prof Kobus du Pisani. City and Town Planning students of Karen Puren are compiling a development plan for the Oak Avenue and Heritage Tourism students of Prof Du Pisani are compiling a heritage conservation plan. Both will be available by the end of October.
- Take note of the planting of our first tree on 1 September 2017 at 10:00, opposite the Akker Koffiehuis. Anyone can attend. Also market this event on your personal Facebook profiles and other social media as this will have a ripple effect on the rest of the project.
- Please find the electronic version of the pamphlet we have compiled here.
Lennie Gouws - Heritage Potchefstroom