OBSID and Communitree – working together to green Observatory


 In the OBSID Public Spaces Survey of 2020, there were strong indications of a need to work on public spaces, particularly with regards to a sense of safety and comfort, also that members of the community were interested in being involved in garden related activations as part of this.

We’re excited to announce that we are partnering with Communitree in 2021 and beyond to become part of a larger network of biodiversity stepping-stones (bird, insect and rain gardens) across Cape Town. This activation will also include the planting of suitable trees (some fruit bearing) in empty “tree holes” on the streets of Observatory, bringing greening to more public spaces.

Cape Town is blessed with unique natural heritage called Fynbos vegetation that occurs nowhere else in the world. Cape Town is a biodiversity hotspot, and for us to respond successfully to the challenge of the climate and extinction crisis in a city called the biodiversity ‘extinction capital of the world’ requires significant effort from many parts of each community.

Imagine an Observatory filled with the flowers and birds of Table Mountain – bringing back the natural Fynbos heritage to our neighbourhood.  Fynbos is beautiful, unique and our natural heritage.  We hope to bring back endangered birds and bees and to inspire other greeners and gardeners to start their own Fynbos patch.

Being mindful that it takes 3 years of planting to get a fully diverse garden established, with the most robust plants being planted in the first year, and the successive planting in the following two years dedicated to adding more species that are most sensitive to wind and sun, OBSID is committed to a longer term strategy allowing for the creation of as many first year gardens in the pilot phase, and then adding the more sensitive species later on when resources allow.

We plan to plant our first gardens along with the first heavy winter rains towards the end of May and into early June but before this, we want to activate a group of community volunteers who’ll be trained in the basics of the creation of nature sanctuaries throughout Observatory and will work with us to plant and maintain these spaces.

We’re hoping that these volunteers will also be able to apply their new skills and knowledge to their own gardens, kerbside spaces and containers – adding to the restoration of the natural heritage of Observatory.

There are 12 spaces available on the pilot phase of the project.  The training comprises 6 one hour modules over 4 months and starts in the first half of March.

We’re also taking this opportunity to train the participants of the OBSID work rehabilitation and supportive housing projects to nurture seedlings and maintain green spaces and we’ll be starting a home nursery at the Obs Rainbow House.

If you’re keen to volunteer, please follow this link to submit your application:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1sOVhvRuW753C2jik2zXYe2uDbpeIgOFMbS-nxuo_li4/viewform?edit_requested=true.  Applications will close on 3rd March 2021.

For more information about Communitree’s work, please go to https://communitree.in/cape-town.

If you have questions about this specific project, please contact Amanda Kirk at OBSID on 021 448 7090 or amanda@obsid.org.za.



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