It's wonderful to be able to give a home to wild plants which have lost theirs. This is what thirty-one Princess Vlei Guardians from Lotus High and Rosmead Primary did on June 2, as they replanted sedges and grasses which had been rescued from a field in Muizenberg. The plants would otherwise have been bulldozed to make way for a sports field for a school. Species included Hellmuthia, Ficinia and Ehrharta.
In addition to these, 22 Psoralea glaucina (Blouteebossie) and 250 Anthospermum aethiopicum were planted. The Psoralea glaucina is on the red list of endangered South African plants.
The guardians were working at our newly established Briana Extension restoration site.This site was created earlier this year by clearing several small invasive eucalyptus gum trees, with the help of Top Fell tree fellers, sponsored by the Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society. It is impossible to grow fynbos under gum trees due to their allelopathic properties. Felling the trees will enable us to restore the critically endangered Cape Flats Sand Fynbos that would nave naturally occurred there before human interference.
An additional 35 species will now be reintroduced to this area, of which at least 5 are on the Red List of Threatened Plants. We will also plant indigenous Keurbooms (Virgillia oroboides) which would have naturally occurred in this landscape. Clearing of these trees will benefit the hydrological and soil health of the broader site and the adjacent wetland.
This is what some of the learners said about their experience:
We’re planting indigenous plants to save animals and birds so that we have a better world. We like animals and birds and plants because they are part of our nature, they are part of our history (Bazile Nkoyi, Onitha Wgangafu, Mihlali and Linomtha, Rosmead Primary)
I am planting to create a good ecosystem (Lamla Mabhoynua, Rosmead Primary)
I am digging holes for the plants to give their roots space to grow longer so that we can have a healthy environment. If we didn’t have a healthy environment the earth would no be so beautiful and you wouldn’t have oxygen to breath. Fresh plants for Fresh air! (Noliwe Nduru, Rosmead Primary)
I’m planting plants because they are special and they also have a right to live and we need to save nature
Today we are rebuilding Princess Vlei from all the breakdowns it had, we are just trying to help it and plant fynbos and to help the environment and all life on earth. Out oxygen comes from plants, so if we don’t have plants we are going to die (Bradwell Harvey, Lotus high).
I’m here to day to rebuild princess vlei because of the damage that people caused here from dumping and all that … I want to restore Princess Vlei because I love plants (Ziah Booysen Lotus high
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.