Mosaic art creates awareness

The Western Leopard Toad inhabits the Silvermine wetlands and has been immortalised in a mosaic.
The Western Leopard Toad inhabits the Silvermine wetlands and has been immortalised in a mosaic.

The creatures protected at Silvermine wetlands have been immortalised in beautiful mosaics, and the public can now donate towards keeping these animals safe too.

The new addition of the intricately designed mosaics depicting the animals at Silvermine are the efforts of the Riverine Rovers, who would like to get visitors involved in the fight to save the animals who make home there.

The mosaics were created at Creative Space arts studio in Clovelly, and the installation of the project coincided with World Environment Day, which was celebrated on 5 June.

The Riverine Rovers are a group of residents in the peninsula who are passionate about the eco-system. Caron Auret, a member of the group, explains: “We made some mosaics depicting the various animals and insects that you find there and installed them near the walkway of the wetlands, as part of the wetlands project in the Silvermine wetlands area.”

She continues, explaining that each work of art is complete with a Snapscan barcode, for visitors to donate money to save the endangered species.

“It is crucial to keep the area as pristine as possible because it is a breeding ground for harders (South African mullet fish). The Cape otters have come back in the last year and we haven’t seen them in many years, and it’s also a big area for leopard toads – it’s also their breeding grounds; so it’s precious for us to keep it going,” she elaborates.

The group’s hope is to generate funds in order to improve the area for wildlife to flourish, and to aid the man who maintains the wetlands, Albert Mpatipeli.

“We need to raise the profile of the wetlands and the need to get community support to help fund the gardener, Albert, who works there weekly to keep the paths open and litter-free,” explains Kim Kruyshaar, owner of the environmental auditing company, Green Audits in Action (GAIA).

According to Auret, Mpatipeli also works on eradicating the wetlands of alien plants and ensuring that all biodiversity is surviving in optimum conditions.

In addition to the maintenance of the area, the group hopes that enough money will be generated to rebuild the walkway around the wetlands.

The revamp of the walkway, according to Auret, could cost in the region of R100 000.

The wetlands are a popular hotspot for birdwatchers and Auret encourages all visitors, watchers, hikers and the likes to take a look at the new installations and donate towards a worthy cause.

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