Environmental Education

St Georges Grammer and Rhodes high school walk, 16 April 2010

Friday 16 April 2010 saw about 40 grade 11 learners from St Georges Grammer and Rhodes high schools enjoying an educational walk along the upper reaches of the Liesbeek below Kirstenbosch.

These neighbouring schools are situated in Mowbrey, along degraded and canalized sections of the Liesbeek. These schools are always willing to do activities along the Liesbeek and have been involved with planting and litter clean ups in the past in the area of Mowbrey. This year it was decided to take the learners to see the more pristine sections of the Liesbeek to show them how the natural river system slowly becomes degraded, from the catchment above Kistenbosch to the M3 crossing at Paradise and eventually the canalized sections that they are so familiar with and refer to as the Liesbeek.

The walk covered many aspects focusing mainly on areas covered in the curriculum. These aspects included basic river ecology, indigenous and endemic vegetation, alien invasive plant species, urbanization and history along the Liesbeek.

The learners were split into two groups, mixing students from each school. The walk began just below Rhodes drive, where the two source streams, Window and Protea, join to form the start of the Liesbeek.

The day was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Thanks to Feroza Salie and Katima from St Goerges Grammer and Rhodes respectively, Denise Borsuk (an international student), Shaun du Plessis (conservation student) and Jeff Blair(voluteer environmentalist at UCT) For their help during the walk and the valuable information they had to add.

We look forward to working with the schools in the near future, with the learners hopefully inspired to rehabilitate and preserve the Liesbeek in their area so that this river may serve as an educational tool, natural sytem and aesthetically pleasing component of an otherwise concrete jungle for many generations to come.

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