Year ends on a high

2018-12-11 06:01
The Communitree team.

The Communitree team.

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Communitree has closed the year on a high note as they hosted back-to-back events in the southern suburbs of Mowbray and Newlands from Tuesday 27 November to Monday 3 December to mark their successes and progress since inception.

Several residents attended and were exposed to some of the successes achieved through the commitment of the members of Communitree.

The NPO is now 18 months old and operates in the communities of Kenilworth, Mowbray, Newlands, Rondebosch, Rosebank, Table Mountain and Rondevlei.

The members sow indigenous plants, pull out weeds and hack alien plants in public spaces. They also help with home-based nurseries, some of which belong to their volunteers­.

They currently have 70 volunteers between the ages of 10 and 84, from different communities, helping them fulfil their mission­.

Due to the great biodiversity in Cape Town, the organisation is looking to expand its activities to Bonteheuwel next year.

In order to do this they need more volunteers to carry out the work and help new members learn the skill of caring for natural vegetation.

At the end-of-year function, Communitree members took residents for a tour to show them the fynbos.

They also gave a report on their bird monitoring results and thanked the people who had helped them, encouraging people to get involved with nature.

Bukiwe Tshetsha, one of the organisers says: “The way people have responded to helping us, and their dedication to doing so, is remarkable. There really are so many very giving and caring people out there. Thank you everyone.

“The highlights of the year have been the great success we have had with some plant species that we grew from seed in autumn, and that have flowered already in spring – a few hundred. We also had three sunbird visitors to our gardens and found monkey beetles in some of our flowers. That means our gardens aren’t just pretty, they are supporting local biodiversity and are more like mini nature reserve.”

She says taking care of the environment starts at home. “As much as you like your home to be clean and neat, why can’t we do the same to our open public spaces [and] avoid throwing rubbish all over the place?”

Tshetsha says there should be zero plastics and papers left behind after picnics and advises the use of reusable containers and the importance of cleaning up after oneself.

Ward councillor Ian Iversen was a guest of honour at the event.

Iversen says he was pleased to be part of an event that assists the community and happy to contribute towards the “organisation which has a wonderful objective”.

“They are creating mini indigenous gardens with the aim of assisting with pollination of plants in the area. The garden along the Liesbeek is now a peaceful haven which people are really enjoying. There is a bench, beautiful garden and a wonderful view of the mountain. From my side I will be working with the park branch to ensure that they have compost, mulch, bark chips and logs for seats. I am most grateful to the two homeless people who have undertaken to look after the garden.” V For more information about Communitree email frances@communitree.in.

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