Volunteers give False Bay Ecology Park Environmental education Centre a Facelift. Motivated by Nelson Mandela Day, volunteers from JUTA Book Store, Strelitzia Youth Development, the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) and staff from the City of Cape Town assisted with the revamping of False Bay Ecology Park during the month of July.

False Bay Ecology Park is one of over 30 natural areas managed by the City of Cape Town. The environmental education centre located within the park was once a beautiful venue in which environmental education programmes took place. Unfortunately it was badly vandalised to the point that it was temporarily closed down in January 2011. In need of a facelift, CTEET took the initiative to get the process started. This was never going to be an easy task but the brave team at CTEET knew the potential of this centre and vowed to restore it to a state of operation. The venue was thoroughly cleaned and new doors, windows and alarm systems were fitted by the City of Cape Town Building and Maintenance Department. Paint and other materials were sourced from the City of Cape Town Biodiversity Management Branch and paint tinting done at a discounted rate by Buildwell Hardware, Grassy Park.

The CTEET team did not have much capacity and required some assistance. JUTA book store and Strelitzia Youth Development seized the opportunity to give back to the community without any hesitation. These two organisations provided many volunteers whose enthusiasm was unmatched, really providing the support needed by CTEET to stretch its legs and go that extra mile.

Upon arrival on Thursday 28 July, the team from JUTA put on their painting clothes and started preparing the building to be undercoated. They plugged all the holes in the walls, cleaned spider webs and even scrubbed the toilets. This was all done with a smile and sense of pride knowing that in the process they were assisting CTEET in hosting camps for underprivileged youth and giving them the opportunity to re-connect with nature. Friday, after the building had been prepared for painting, the team from Strelitzia Youth Development arrived. The group of youth and elderly knuckled down and started a three day campaign

to give the venue a face lift which was desperately needed. As the hours went by the building started to show off its true beauty and by the end of the weekend all the rooms, kitchen and other facilities in the venue were painted with an array of bright colours.

The Cape Town Environmental Education Trust and the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch thanks everybody who was involved in the process of getting this amazing facility back up and running and helping them Change Lives Through Nature.

For more information on the City’s nature reserves, visit www.cteet.co.za, and www.capetown.gov.za/naturereserves.