Keeping the lanes clean and green

2019-10-01 06:00
The lane by the Vesperdene Steps was overgrown before it was cleaned and pruned.

The lane by the Vesperdene Steps was overgrown before it was cleaned and pruned.

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The Friends of Green Point Lanes (FOGPL) have remained relentless in their efforts to keep dirt at bay and ensure that the neighbourhood stays green.

Established in 2017, the non-profit organisation (NPO) focuses on cleaning and beautifying parks and lanes in and around Green Point. FOGPL has six members, founder Elizabeth Knight, Sanet Tattersall, Paige Nick, Julia Engelhard-Laufs, Carin Lilienfeld and Kim Perkins.

The NPO looks after 25 lanes and small gardens. To mention few, they have transformed spaces from Ocean View Drive to Carreg Crescent, the gardens along Ben Nevis, Vesperdene Steps and those between High Level and Main roads.

Their latest project was the weeding and planting at the Thornhill Park on Tuesday 24 September.

Knight says the NPO is getting a lot of support from some residents and various stakeholders including ward councillor, Dave Bryant. She says lanes play a crucial role in integrating the community and they are essential “servitudes”. They are also networks to public transport for those who live or work in the area and the tourists. “For two years, a handful of energetic Green Point residents with a passion for neighbourhood improvement have invested time and funds to green these historic features, as well as our public parks,” says Knight.

However, she says the journey has not always been smooth.

She describes the 2017 drought as the most challenging period for the NPO, but they were determined to succeed and today “all the gardens are (now) maturing”.

Knight hails donors from the United States of America (USA) for forking out money towards the project in February this year. “We were able to employ a gardener to complete our goal. The municipal nursery and V&A Waterfront were also generous with plants,” she says.

Knight urges residents to get involved by keeping the lanes and the surrounding public spaces neat. She says residents need to be responsible, practise “responsible recycling” and take advantage of the free service offered by WastePlan in the area.

“Clean and green lanes will be safer for pedestrians than the main roads where pavements, in many instances, have been appropriated for parking. At the same time, we encourage neighbours to contribute to our unique environment by picking up litter whether walking on our streets, through our lanes or steps,” she says.

Knight says FOGPL is in the process of seeking interventions from the local police and security companies to closely monitor the lanes. She says they are also engaging with officials regarding street lighting issues as well as enforcing the bylaw that builders “make good before they go off site”.

“We have created a visual map of all lanes together with a full condition report which has been shared with the City. We request residents to respect the process of seeking permission and the bylaws governing the use of lanes during any construction work,” Knight says.

Bryant says it is a “fantastic” initiative that he has committed to supporting through the ward allocation budget.

V For more information or to become a member, visit Friends Of Green Point Lanes or contact Elizabeth Knight on 021 434 0550 or 076 597 2650; or email


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