Helping people understand plants

The Botanical Society conducts one of its regular escorted visits to the Windhoek botanical gardens this Saturday, hoping to see more lay horticulturists join them for the early morning, early summer stroll.

The Botanical Society of Namibia is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation made up of voluntary members who pay a yearly membership fee. Their aim is to promote the understanding and appreciation of Namibian flora and to advance community awareness and participation in conservation of the indigenous flora.
Diana Thompson, Chairperson, Botanical Society of Namibia said that they are a relatively small Society with only a few individuals who are able to freely give of their time and energy. “We would like to have the ready funds to employ a suitable person on a part-time basis to help promote the Society,” she emphasised.
She added that the community can get involved in the Society by becoming members of the Society, even if they are not able to attend any of the programmed events. The larger the Society is as a body, the more muscle they have if they are to lobby for a particular cause. “They can also get involved by visiting the Botanic Garden, becoming aware of the beauty and hardiness of our natural flora, by preventing the wanton destruction of our indigenous trees and helping to eliminate invasive aliens,” said Thompson.
She said that hold talks that cover a wide variety of subjects which are interesting and informative and they also have a guided walk where participants are informed about the flora of the Garden and given interesting facts. “Invasive aliens such as cactus, wild rubber vine, lantana and others, are a real threat to our indigenous flora and our land so we are implementing a programme to educate people about these plants,” she announced.
“The number of those attending our talks range from 12 to 40, depending on the topic and other events being held in Windhoek, and the number of those attending the guided walks ranges form 8 to 65 and is made up of tourist, Windhoek residents, members of the Society and children,” she added.
Thompson urges the public to become members because they will be able to get free entrance to the Botanic Garden, get their periodic newsletter with pertinent information and discounts on the books they have for sale. The following are forth coming events for the Society for this month: 12 September 2015, guided walk in the Botanic Garden, 08:00-11:00 and Mr Johan van Tonder from the Ministry of Mines and Energy will also be speaking of the geology of the Garden. 17 September 2015 Dr Renate Hans, Lecturer at the University of Namibia will give a presentation on Medicinal natural products of plant and animal origin at 19:00 in the lecture room of the National Botanic Research Institute, 8 Orban Street, Windhoek.