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Princess Vlei to be ‘top fynbos sanctuary’

19 Aug 2008 Posted by in Environment, News and Events | Comments

Princess Vlei, one of the major vleis on the Cape Flats but heavily transformed over many decades, is to be restored, with the City of Cape Town pumping in R3-million to kick-start the process.

An initial three-year project will include clearing alien vegetation, planting indigenous fynbos and building pathways, recreational areas, bomas and bird-watching hides at the vlei that lies between Grassy Park, Heathfield, Elfindale and Retreat.

“The aim of the project is to transform the Princess Vlei wetlands into a top fynbos sanctuary for recreational and educational use,” says local ward councillor Jan Burger.

The announcement follows the city’s warning about a steady drop in water quality in rivers and vleis in the metropolitan area that are used for recreation.

The standard of the water has dropped by almost half during the past eight years and residents have been urged to heed notices and warning signs.

The Princess Vlei project is a partnership between the city, the SA National Bidodiversity Institute, Working for Wetlands and the non-government conservation group Biowatch.

One of the main driving forces is Bio-watch’s Kelvin Cochrane, who transformed the Bottom Road area adjoining Zeekoevlei in a similar project that’s been hailed as a major conservation success.

This article was originally published on page 7 of Cape Argus on August 19, 2008

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