For the 5th year running, Greenpop will host two festivals in the ancient Platbos Forest in May. These are festivals with a difference – Greenpop brings people together to plant thousands of trees, dance to live music, listen to interesting talks, enjoy great food whilst celebrating the people and planet.
Greenpop is a social enterprise on a mission to (re)connect people with our planet and each other. Their method – to plant trees and have fun doing it. In 2014 a whopping 10,002 trees were planted over the two weekend festivals! They hope to match this in 2015 and you can be part of it.
The Reforest Fest is held over two weekends in May in the Platbos Forest (2.5 hours drive from Cape Town). The first weekend is a Family Fest (8 -10 May) and the following weekend is a Friends Fest (15 – 17 May). As the names suggest, the Family Fest is aimed towards families with children of all ages, music end at about 10:30pm on the Saturday night and activities are tailored towards connecting families and children with nature. The Friends Fest is a bit more of a party on the Saturday night and slightly different activities and talks on the Sunday. All ages welcome to both!
What to expect at the Platbos Family and Friends Fests
Saturday is a day of tree-planting and getting your hands dirty, helping to restore an ecosystem that is one of the most rare and endangered in the Western Cape. As the sun sets on a hard day’s work, festival goers will enjoy a magical forest party! Greenpop provides an awesome musical line-up at the intimate main stage, with some of South Africa’s coolest bands (at both fests). Line-up to be announced soon! Usually Greenpop plants 3,000 trees at the Family Weekend and 7,000 at the Friends weekend.
You can also expect: hula hooping, yoga, arts and craft and talks on sustainable living as well as getting dirty with your hands in the soil! In the evenings you can kick back and enjoy the music by local bands.
Platbos Forest – a true gem in the Western Cape
Platbos is an ancient relic forest with trees that are over 1,000 years old. This forest is part of one of the rare and endangered ecosystems of the Western Cape, with a unique mix of indigenous trees from both coastal regions and mountainous regions!
Like many natural forests around the world, parts of Platbos have been cleared in the past century for cultivation. This means that the trees that would naturally grow there have been cut down. Today, many of these cleared areas are being taken over by dense invasive alien vegetation, which makes it difficult for the indigenous trees to grow back, and also poses a serious fire risk to the whole forest.
In response to this issue, Melissa and Francois Krige of Platbos have launched the Trees for Tomorrow reforestation programme. Through this, endemic seeds are harvested from the forest, reared in the Platbos Forest Tree Nursery and then replanted to expand the forest and help to return it to the way it once was. It’s important to plant endemic trees because they are especially adapted to droughts, they keep from raging out of control and serve as a food source for the bird and animal species that rely on the Platbos ecosystem for survival.
Greenpop have partnered with Platbos Forest to create the annual Reforest Fests, which focus on the importance of planting trees, but also provide an unforgettable experience for people of all ages to (re)connect with nature and have fun doing it! In the past 5 years, Greenpop has planted over 18 000 trees through the Reforest Fests and the trees have a 85% survival rate so far!
“The most exciting thing about this annual event to me is the community that comes together to celebrate. The event has grown stronger year on year, in terms of numbers and trees planted. Being on the ground and getting active really makes me feel like we are part of a movement. And to think we are re-growing an indigenous forest is awesome – and it’s really working. This wouldn’t be possible without the amazing community of like-minded people coming together to make social and environmental change happen – and having fun too.” says Misha Teasdale, Greenpop’s Tree-E-O.