Green mandala breaks new ground

Cyclist Len Handler passing through and chatting to Dr James Rawlings.

Children, cyclists, runners and a horse rider were among those at the launch of a mandala at Grootboskloof greenbelt last week.

It is the brainchild of botanical conservationist Caitlin von Witt who believes it is the world’s first biodiversity mandala (“Green mandala crafted for greenbelt”, June 20).

Work began in June with backing of the City’s recreation and parks department and funding and support from various organisations and individuals.

Situated where Grootboskloof greenbelt joins the bridge on Firgrove Way, across the Blue Route, Ms Von Witt said the mandala is an urban biodiversity corridor showing that it is possible to have a fynbos garden.

“It showcases how biodiverse lowland fynbos can be used in creative ways to convert our remaining green spaces into thriving wildlife habitat that promotes balanced ecosystems, environmental education, water conservation, tourism and recreation,” said Ms Von Witt.

She said mandala is a Sanskrit word for circle and is a symbol of the universe and wholeness in many eastern cultures. “Carl Jung westernised mandalas. By drawing mandalas his patients would find perspective by centering the self in the universe, which would help them work towards wholeness,” she said.

Now she is looking for funding for maintenance of the mandala. Contact her by email at if you can help.