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2021 Strategic Green Infrastructure (partnering with Communitree)

Communitree have developed an integrated environmental strategy for OBSID and Observatory, to allow the area to become part of a larger network of biodiversity stepping-stone networks across Cape Town.

What does Communitree do?

Communitree’s greening is different from that of a landscapers in three ways:

  • They focus on public spaces; 
  • They focus their energy on locally indigenous and endemic plants – the plants that were already here before the city was built.   See some examples here (credit: Peta Brom): https://obsid.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2021-public-spaces-greening-plant-lists.pdf
  • They work as a community-enabler, not a labour service, working with neighbours and local community members and show them how to do something small but manageable for the cause.

It is anticipated that this strategy will be activated in the public space of Observatory over successive years as the OBSID budget allows.

Project update – July 2021:

Community members volunteered to participate in the pilot phase of the project, attending training sessions from late March to mid-May 2021.  The training comprised a mix of theory and practical applications, resulting in around 700 cuttings being propagated and cared for in home nurseries all over Observatory.

Many participants have now planted cuttings of indigenous Fynbos in their own gardens, each one adding a small part to the Fynbos corridors that Communitree hope to build in Cape Town.

Peta Brom (of Peta Brom Ecological Landscape Design) was contracted by Communitree in April 2021 to develop an urban greening framework for Observatory, which facilitated the identification of the first pilot site for Fynbos restoration – the Observatory Station concourse near Lynton Road.

In early June 2021, after the first good winter rains, the site was prepared and volunteers planted out their propagated plants plus stock procured from the Communitree and other specialist nurseries.  The site is now being maintained by OBSID and the community volunteers.

Next steps on this project include the maintenance of the pilot site, identification of the next site for restoration, expansion of the community volunteer network, the propagation of plants in the next growing season and their planting out.

Contact us if you want to get involved!

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