Dressing up the princess

2016-06-07 06:00
Following a hard day of work learners who planted trees at Princess Vlei were rewarded with a canoe ride from Gravity.

Following a hard day of work learners who planted trees at Princess Vlei were rewarded with a canoe ride from Gravity.

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Learners from different schools got their hands dirty as they planted 400 trees to create a fynbos garden at Princess Vlei in on Thursday 3 June in Retreat.

The project was organised by the Princess Vlei Forum and it involved 100 children from five local schools – Hyde Park Primary, Levana Primary, Harmony Primary, John Graham Primary and Lotus High School. Some of these schools have been involved for some years in cleaning up and rehabilitating Princess Vlei; others are new recruits.

Bridget Pitt, from Princess Vlei Forum, says the children had their hands full. “They spent their time cleaning up litter, clearing alien plants and weeds, and planting a wide variety of plants that are part of the Cape Flats Dune Strandveld system and Cape Lowland freshwater system. Many of these plants are endemic, and many are threatened or endangered. Restoring the natural vegetation will attract pollinators and feeders, and help to restore the overall environmental health of the vlei while beautifying the area for the pleasure of recreational users,” she says.

Following three hours of hard work the learners were then given a canoe ride by Gravity Adventures as a reward.

Pitt added that children who participate in these projects not only make a huge social contribution, but also learn the pride that comes with taking responsibility for creating and maintaining a healthy environment and beautiful urban spaces. Many lessons of leadership are learnt in this process, and the children also benefit from an active day outside, Pitt says.

The project has been made possible with funding from the Table Mountain Fund, and has been organised in consultation with the City of Cape Town Biodiversity Branch. Their efforts will soon be complemented by other improvements to the area, as the Princess Vlei Forum works with the City in realising the community’s vision for a nature and heritage park at Princess Vlei, Pitt says.

An important milestone in this process was reached this month when the City released a finalised conceptual development framework for the greater Princess Vlei conservation area, paving the way for the implementation of significant improvements to the precinct. This will pave the way for the implementation of significant improvements to the precinct. This is an important step in realising the community’s vision for a nature and heritage park at Princess Vlei, Pitt says.

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