A group of Grade 4 to 6 learners from ACJ Phakade Primary School in Nomzamo, Strand joined us for a ‘Changing Lives Through Nature’ camp on the weekend.

A highlight of the weekend for both the learners and the educators was getting involved in indigenous planting at the Rondevlei Section of False Bay Nature Reserve. This restoration project was in partnership with the City of Cape Town and the Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei in an effort to restore an area of endangered Cape Flats Sand Fynbos within the Rondevlei Section of False Bay Nature Reserve. The learners were eager helping hands in the planting of indigenous restio species (Thamnochortus erectus) in the area which was previously highly infested with alien invasive species. Although the alien species are expected to regrow, the planting of the indigenous fynbos will help to increase the competition and work towards eliminating the alien plants. These restio plants are also vital for the survival of the Dragon Disa; a unique orchid that is now endangered.

It was inspiring to witness how excited these young conservation champions were about making an active difference in protecting some of Cape Town’s unique vegetation. CTEET has been running environmental education camps in the Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei area since 2001 and the enthusiasm of this group was heart-warming. Karen Merrett, our Programme Coordinator said that the morning was very special. “Although this is just a small section of fynbos, seeing the positive attitude of the learners towards making a difference shows that this generation is starting to understand the importance of our biodiversity”.

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