Planting starts for Doordrift greenbelt rehabilitation

Nature Connect river ambassadors, Zandile Mlahlwa of Masiphumelele, Joshua Eden of Retreat and Nandipha Khwananzi of Capricorn Park.

Following the clearing of invasive black alder trees and kikuyu grass from the Doordrift greenbelt by the City’s recreation and parks department in May, planting began last week with a variety of indigenous species along the riverbank.

Doordrift greenbelt stretches from Stodels in Doordrift Road past the back of Norman Henshilwood High School, ending at the M3 turn-off near Zonnestraal farm.

On Friday September 17, a team of river ambassadors from Nature Connect, formerly known as Cape Town Environmental Education Trust, planted plants that will attract bees, birds and other natural wildlife.

Ward councillor Liz Brunette, City conservation manager Fay Howa and Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts (FoCVG) river warden Professor Mike Picker also got their hands dirty.

River wardens are FoCVG volunteers who monitor and report problems, such as fallen trees and overflowing sewers, to the relevant authorities. Professor Picker said the planting day was part of an ongoing rehabilitation plan.

2nd Bergvliet Sea Scouts also helped with the planting. Troop Scouter Judy Willemse said the scouts had been itching to help.

“We are fortunate to be located in an area with many greenbelts and can regularly be found running around the neighbourhood on a Friday evening doing activities along these rivers and in the open spaces,” she said.

“As part of the Plastic Tide Turner Challenge, we have been focussing on picking up litter and taking it to recycling depots. We noticed that all the litter in the street gets washed into the stormwater drains, which feed into the river. That means that it could make its way to Zandvlei and then into the sea.

“As sea scouts, we love to sail in Zandvlei and often arrange service projects to do clean-ups there. It just made sense to us to rather pick it up before it makes its way into the river system.

“As scouts, we strive to make the world a better place. We are very thankful to be guided on how to make a positive impact on an area that is so close to us and that we can be part of this amazing transition. We are committed to helping rejuvenate from source to sea.”

Ms Howa said the greenbelt had been occupied by vagrants before and the regeneration would be done further upriver towards the M3.

Visit www.sourcetosea.org.za for more information.

Councillor Liz Brunette, Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts (FoCVG) river warden Professor Mike Picker and City conservation manager Fay Howa.
Nature Connect river ambassadors Siphokuhle Moyakha from Khayelitsha and Lona Matu from Masiphumelele.
2nd Bergvliet Sea Scouts also helped with the planting.
Regeneration will continue further upriver towards the M3.