Kromboom to blossom with new reserve

2015-05-19 06:00
The Kenwyn Nature Park got a start when volunteers planted more than 300 sponsored plants on 1 May.

The Kenwyn Nature Park got a start when volunteers planted more than 300 sponsored plants on 1 May.

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A new nature reserve will soon be seen in full bloom along Kromboom Parkway.

In an initiative started by residents, known now as the Friends of Kenwyn Nature Park (FKNP), during 2013 the conservation area stretches between Chukker Road and Kromboom Parkway.

Planting got underway in the open space between Chukker Road and Kromboom Parkway on Friday 1 May when residents came out in droves to help plant more than 300 sponsored plants.

Steven Molteno says the area is to be divided into five sections, which includes buffer zones, a core biodiversity area, cultural and recreational areas, seasonal wetlands, pathways and possibly a later addition of educational gardens that will incorporate useful plants and medicinal plants.

The FKNP was established in terms of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) Friends scheme.

The FKNP has, so far, removed alien vegetation on the open space and now added the new plants to the site, Molteno explains.

In the proposal to have the reserve launched, Molteno says “all open spaces have significant cultural and recreational value”. “Currently the pine trees on site may have some heritage value and the area is occasionally used by local residents for recreational purposes. The area was used by displaced people which resulted in reduced use by the local community and the build-up of solid waste on site,” the proposal reads.

Included in the environmental management priorities for this nature reserve is to “protect and optimise natural open space resources and promote natural service systems over engineering solutions to provide urban ecosystem services such as stormwater management”.

The reserve will also be beneficial to schools neighbouring the park. In using the space, schools will also see environmental programmes taking place on site.

“Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area has a number of environmental education programmes, which it runs on the reserve, as well as at schools.

“The Chukker Road open space is bordered by Oaklands Secondary School to the east. Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation authorities have visited the school and are currently assisting with the development of a small landscaped biodiversity reserve on the property,” Molteno adds.

The development of the Chukker Road open space into a biodiversity park would extend on the school’s biodiversity area, and provide a wide range of environmental education opportunities to be undertaken on the site.

Molteno further explains that organisations have been involved with the nature reserve due to a limited budget from the City of Cape Town.

“Having had experience with projects of a similar nature, it is understood that the City is very limited in its budget and often far more pressing challenges take preference when it comes to budget allocation. For this reason it is vital that a number of organisations and volunteer groups are involved to make this project a success. There is already buy-in from a number of partners who would like to work towards this common goal,” he adds.

These organisations and volunteers include the local community, Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area.


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