Mandela Week 2018

Jul 24, 2018

Communitree hosted a week full of gardening activities in commemoration of Nelson Mandela and the 67 minutes for Mandela day, which took place on Wednesday 18 July.

After weeks of preparation, planning and marketing we presented a week of gardening activities in honour of Mandela Day. Two gardening activities were hosted per day from Monday through Saturday whereby an array of volunteers and support was shown throughout the week.

We targeted our priority sites within this week in order to fast track the work that needed to be done and in turn progressed towards our goals for each site much quicker than we could have anticipated.

On Monday we worked in Ryan Road Park where the core team continued to remove grass, creating clearly demarcated perimeters around the areas we had converted into a garden with cobra lilles and agapanthus'.

On Tuesday we worked at our N2 Patch and Koornhoop Corner sites where we too removed grass and planted carpobrotus to disallow the return of the grass and rehabilitate the soil to one day house more fynbos species. A journalist from the People's Post joined us at our Koornhoop session to document what we were doing and relay it back to their Newspaper. 

On Wednesday, Mandela Day, we saw a great presence of volunteers and help at both our Rondebosch Common weed removal session and our tree planting session at Paradise Park alongside Friends of the Liesbeek. We also had another grass clearing session at Ryan Road Park. During our Rondebosch Common session, a large number of volunteers including the team from Gordon's Gym came by to help remove the weeds at one of our priority sites surrounding the Common and in turn learn about weed differentiation from Joanne Eastman. The staff from Clarke's Bar and Diningroom as well as the team over at the Friends of the Liesbeek joined us at our afternoon session in Paradise Park where we planted Wild Almond trees, Bladdernuts and White Arum Lillies. The Friends of Paradise Park were very grateful to everyone involved in planting up the slope in the park that had been exposed and bare for years.

On Thursday we gardened at Cecil Park with the help of volunteers from a local business nearby as well as neighbours in the community. We successfully converted a patch of weeds and grass opposite the park into a bed of carpobrotus which operates like a living mulch. In the afternoon we worked at Ryan Road Park again where we cleared the grass in between the fence around the perimeter to safeguard our gardens from the re-entry of grass and to allow those walking by to see the garden and the potential of the space.

On Friday two team members and a volunteer helped out at Westlake Conservation Centre where we helped the city's nursery to de-weed the premises. We furthermore hosted a workshop around setting up a home nursery for pupils at Thandokhulu High. In the afternoon we once again teamed up with the Friends of the Liesbeek on their litter run along the river where several volunteers joined us in cleaning up the river.

On Saturday we completed our final Mandela Week session at the Rondebsoch Common at two of our sites (Rondebosch Common Traffic Circle and Park Road Middlemannetjie) whereby volunteers from the Friends of the Rondebosch Common as well as those who had heard about us via the park run that takes place there every Saturday morning came to help us remove weeds and plant indigenous groundcover.

Mandela Week was a huge success and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone that came along to spend their 67 minutes with us. We accomplished so much in one week due to the extra sets of hands on board as well as the exposure this week created for Communitree. We would also like to say a special thank you to Expand A Sign who sponsored us a banner just in time for the start of our weeks acitivities. Because of the generosity and good will of Expand A Sign we are able to attract more attention to what we are doing as well as hopefully get more people on board in the near future. Finally, we would like to thank our partners in greening for their collaboration during this week: Friends of the Liesbeek, Friends of the Rondeboch Common, Myles Siebrits from Rustenburg Girls' High, and Faizel Slemang from Thandokhulu High.

Please note that Communitree has events year-round, and we can always use an extra pair of hands! If you are keen to join, please review our events calendar, or read more here about different options to volunteer at Communitree.


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