An autumn goodbye - a fresh start in spring

Apr 23, 2022

Dear Communitree members and friends,

I would like to update you on the changes happening within Communitree, bringing some exciting new possibilities to you and Communitree as a whole. Most of you already know that myself and Paul have moved to Medellin in Colombia and have been working on handing over the directorship of Communitree for the last few months. At this moment, Communitree's activities are on hold and we are not actively organising workshops or events. However, we are excited to notify you that we plan to restart activities again by the 1st of September this year, when Julia September will be taking over.

To the role she brings many years of experience in Fynbos restoration and horticulture, as well as experience in training. As a person who has been working with and advising Communitree for a number of years, she is very well placed to take the Communitree mission forward. Her experience and skills will mean that she will emphasise different parts of the Communitree mission and that is really good for the organisation. Julia will officially take over on 1 September 2022, and I am very excited to continue observing the growth and development of Communitree under her direction, from my new role as board member.

I would like to take this moment to wholehearted thank you for the phenomenal time we had together in Cape Town. Communitree started because I observed that there were many passionate and competent members of the public who were not being recognised for their potential to meaningfully contribute to the restoration of the Fynbos ecosystem. What I didn't fully grasp at the beginning was the depth of commitment that so many people have to the cause. A case in point, please see this beautiful video made by Putter about the Spek Sisters and their continued work, despite Communitree being on hold. I am really proud that we HAVE set up a network of locally indigenous Fynbos gardens, and that some of them are homes to endangered species of Fynbos, as well as many species of really cute animals like rainfrogs and Cape Dwarf chameleons. Without the gardens, these species are without a home. More than this, we have also worked hard to set up the Fynbos Corridor Collaboration, which launched last year, where other organisations and individuals can join in and be part of a bigger cause from their nook of Cape Town. See to see all the great material there. A special thanks goes to Paul who has been a solid, enthusiastic and generous supporter of Communitree, most tangibly seen in the beautiful websites he has made for us.

Inspired, energised and wizened by Communitree South Africa, my work in Medellín continues in the same vein, working towards setting up networks of people who build biidors. I bet you there are just as many fabulous people as yourselves here.

As you continue your journey in Fynbos with Communitree, rest assured you are in trustworthy hands of someone who is very competent and really believes in Communitree, and always has. Nadine Van Zyl, who has been a very steady, passionate and wholehearted Communitree team member for a number of years now, will continue to support Julia going forward. If you have any queries between now and 1 September, please email Nadine at, but note that most engagements and activities will have to wait until September 1st. Nadine and Julia are in close and regular contact.

You can expect to receive updates on the new plans and programmes through this same newsletter in September.

Warm wishes and all the success in your Fynbos journey,

Frances Taylor


Image: Breviceps gibbosus (Giant Rain Frog)  by Courtney Hundermark. This same species was found to be inhabiting one of our gardens in Newlands.

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