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The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has recognised the greening efforts of Joburg and its City Parks entity, handing it the 2012 Arbor City Award.

City Parks has planted over 200 000 trees since 2010JOBURG has cemented its status in the greening stakes, winning the coveted 2012 Arbor City Award.

The award was handed out by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Kimberly to mark National Arbor Day on 1 September. The member of the Joburg mayoral committee for community development, Chris Vondo, was on hand to receive the award. "The Arbor City Award is the highest acknowledgement of greening in the country," he stressed.

The City's greening strategies were underpinned by the Joburg 2040 vision to build a green, liveable, resilient and economically viable powerhouse to enhance the quality of life of all its residents.

Vondo also paid tribute to Johannesburg City Parks, green conscious businesses, the media, NGOs and the residents of Joburg, who have supported the green call to action. He accepted the award on behalf of these "committed and passionate individuals and the birds, bees and trees who have no voice".

He also committed the City to continuing its quest to explore new innovations, diligently interrogate the developmental agenda, aggressively work towards bridging the green divide and to consistently strive to build a citizenry that takes pride and ownership of its environment.

City Parks, the custodians of greening in Johannesburg, has planted over 200 000 trees since 2010, transformed landfill sites into world-class parks, developed over 42 community food gardens, beautified key arterials, is accelerating its rollout of green outdoor gyms and is planting 7 000 fruit trees this financial year. "The Arbor City 2012 Award salutes a decade of cutting-edge service excellence in greening by the City of Joburg and Johannesburg City Parks," Vondo stressed.