A MyCapeTown selected video about Edith Stephens Wetland Park:
Water hyacinth is an aggressive weed that causes lots of problems if allowed to get out of hand. At the Edith Stephens Wetland Park on the Cape Flats, it established itself on the stormwater pond, destroying a birdwatching paradise. In this short clip you will meet the narrator, Luzanne Isaacs, who is the City of Cape Town’s site manager at the park. Determined to involve people from the surrounding low-income communities in finding a lasting solution to this and other challenges of stewardship, she teamed up with local entrepreneur and social activist Dale Isaacs. Together they raised the funds to set up a work opportunity programme, and you will see teams of people working alongside the heavy machinery to bring the weed under control. Also part of the story is Abel Abelse, a local youth excited at the prospect of being involved in the ecological research that is going into finding a more stable solution to the problem of weed infestation. Abel is experimenting with indigenous aquatic plants, using the swimming pool of the old homestead turned Park HQ as a laboratory . He hopes to introduce these, some of which have been traditionally harvested as food plants, into the stormwater pond. His source of new material is the nursery of the world renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, where he is helped by keeper of the aquatic plants, Josias Tamboer.
The battle for stable and sustainable management of urban ecosystems will be difficult and on-going, but we take our hats off to people like Luzann, Dale, Abel and Josias who bring different elements of society together to make a plan and make a difference.
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