BioWise, Knysna Correctional Services, Knysna Municipality, Oakhill School, SANParks, Stepping Stones School and Working for Water join forces during WEEDBUSTER WEEK to tackle the alien infestation in the catchment area above Pledge Nature Reserve.
The Working for Water and Land teams worked really hard this week in clearing a bank of alien vegetation outside the entrance to the Knysna Correctional Services. The Working for Water Team also demonstrated how to identify, and remove the alien vegetation to the children from Oakhill and Stepping Stones Schools on Thursday, 10 October.
Stepping Stones and Oakhill are working on a river restoration project as part of their Eco –Schools project and as part of a Naturally Knysna initiative. This project includes conducting regular water quality tests to determine river health and the making of mudballs infused with Effective Micro-organisms that then get placed in the streams where the sources of pollution are greatest. These mudballs help to break down pollution and restore river health. River health is also impacted by poor water flow resulting from infestation of alien trees, and this is where the alien clearing part of the project has arisen which has seen so many different organisations and groups coming to the party.
The Oakhill Grade 4s and the Stepping Stone’s Grade 3, 4 and 5 children were keen to assist with the WEEDBUSTING. It was wonderful to witness the great team work between the schools in removing some of the vegetation.
We (Stepping Stones and Oakhill) have developed collaborative relationships with various community role-players to assist in this project. This is an ongoing and painstaking project but worth all the effort to develop an awareness of the importance of looking after the environment in our children. We have been blessed with assistance with various aspects of our River Project by Knysna Municipality, Bio-Wise and SANPark s as well as other interested people in the community.
The two schools are planning to organise to clear more of the alien vegetation in the area. The black wattle and blackwood trees that get removed will be used by Correctional Services as part of their programme for rehabilitation, with inmates making latte, furniture and screens from the wattle stems
If you are interested in assisting with aspects of this project or joining the schools on a “ hack” please call Jane Horn at Oakhill or Carrene Sands at Stepping Stones School. It would be great to have more community involvement in this project.
Article by Carrene Sands, Jane Horn and Sue Swain