Tokai Park to host nature week for pupils

Tokai Park. Picture: Parkscape

Friends of Tokai Park are hosting a Nature Week at Tokai Park for approximately 600
primary and high school pupils from Monday March 9 to Friday March
13.

These will largely be pupils who seldom get exposure to biodiversity excursions.

The aim of the week is to get the pupils out of their classrooms and into nature and to bring their Life Sciences syllabus to life.

Pupils will be from Grades 6 to 7 and Grade 11.

The schools that will be taking part in the Nature Week are Shiloah Christian School in Wynberg, Constantia Primary School, St Mary’s RC
Primary School in Retreat,
Cape Academy of Maths Science and Technology in Constantia, Hillwood Primary in Lavender Hill and Westlake Primary School.

Tokai Park is a conservation site that is home to remnants of two
critically endangered Fynbos vegetation types: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos (less than 1% conserved) and Peninsula Granite Fynbos (less than 30% conserved).

Even though there are over 550 native plant species in 600 hectares at the botanical site, 22 plant species at the park are threatened with extinction.

Friends of Tokai Park is a community organisation that is made up entirely by volunteers that aims to support efforts to restore the Cape Flats Sand Fynbos.

Principal at Westlake Primary School Landie Diamond said her pupils were excited to be a part of the nature week and to learn about nature conversation.

“They look forward to going out to excursions where they can learn about the wonders of nature.

They will also get an opportunity to apply what they have learnt in their school environmental projects,” she said.

“It will be nice for them to interact with facilitators other than
their educators. This is a very
practical and hands-on approach to
learning and the team building
exercises they’ll be doing there will teach them to work together.”

The nature week will cover topics and activities such as an
introduction to Tokai Park, the various
plantations and Fynbos vegetation, a guided nature walk on succession and fires, a talk on Fynbos restoration, and lessons on various wildlife, small mammals and popular ecology and food webs.

After the Nature Week, Friends of Tokai Park will also host a non-profit Fynbos Festival on Sunday March 15, from10am to 4pm, at The Chilled Market at the Range in Tokai.

The festival aims to grow appreciation for the beauty and value of fynbos within the urban Cape Town community.

The festival is in partnership with a few other organisations and there
will be painters, photographers,
local Fynbos nurseries, Fynbos gin and flower crowns, and many other Fynbos activities and conservation groups. There will also be children’s activities.

“The Friends of Tokai are doing an incredible job in helping to restore the critically endangered Cape
Sand Plain Fynbos in the Tokai area as the pine plantations are being harvested.

“It has been astonishing how the natural seedbank has survived for so many decades and the fynbos
has returned,” said Margaret
Kahle, committee member at Friends of Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area.