Written by Kim Gordon, Stewardship Programme Coordinator.

Nature Connect has been appointed as a facility to issue small grants on behalf of the Table Mountain Fund. These grants are dedicated to facilitate and support the entry of new organisations or individuals into the conservation sector, while also supporting biodiversity and community participation, involving youth and encouraging sustainable livelihoods.

Since our call in October 2023, we received 30 inspiring applications. After much deliberation, our Nature Care Fund team are proud to introduce the following four projects selected for the 2024 cycle:

Green Hearts is a team of community members from Retreat, guided by an exceptionally passionate resident. Their mission is to collaborate with volunteers and enthusiastic youth, endeavouring to green their surroundings, provide propagation education, and instil a passion for the environment among local youth, through nature-based excursions.

ARKYS Outreach strives to provide youth communities on the South Peninsula with a platform that encourages collaboration and promotes empowerment, through the provision of long-term upskilling and education projects. Through their Chacma Champions project, they offer a captivating experience to young individuals, enabling participants to immerse themselves in the complexities of local ecosystems by delving into the fascinating lives of nearby baboon troops.

Community Women Action, located in Eerste River, is committed to creating an empowering and economically independent environment with a positive and sustainable social impact. Their Intergenerational Programme aims to educate and empower local unemployed youth by pairing them with senior mentors to explore indigenous vegetation, focusing on Cape Flats Sand Fynbos (critically endangered). This involves a fynbos rehabilitation program, excursions to local nature reserves, and the promotion of income-generating activities through provided training.

Mosselbank River Conservation Team have grown in their dedication to conservation and are now looking to develop their young members, the Wetland Wonderers. They will embark on a journey within and beyond the confines of their Fisantekraal community, embracing a rare opportunity to explore nature more broadly and immerse themselves in the environmental highlights that Cape Town has to offer.

Nature Connect eagerly anticipates the opportunity to collaborate with each of these organisations by further advancing home-grown conservation efforts that protect our rich biodiversity, promote environmental education, and foster positive social impacts in the Cape Floristic Region.