Zandvlei Trust

Princessvlei floating wetland island project 
           by WESSA -
22nd March 2014.

Here is Patrick Dowlings island. It is made up of plastic bottles wrapped in sacking 
and held together with fencing wire mesh and Invasive tree branches bound together.
The plants are in pots and have been sunk into the island and secured. 

Patrick getting a hand with putting it in the water.

The second island prepared by Pierre Depaepe of Riverside Aquatics in Somerset West
(in blue shirt) and with help from school children from Lotus River and their teachers. 
That is Fay Howa helping on the far side. She now works for City Parks department 
and is in charge of all the open spaces between the M5 and M3.

The adults did not want to get their shoes wet, so the Life Guards were called into action
to put the island in the water.

This little boy thinks getting his feet wet is great fun. He came to have a close look at the islands.

Then everyone came down from the main activity area, following the drumming and the floats,
representing some of the creatures associated with Princessvlei.
This was the last event of the afternoon, the launching of the floating islands in Princessvlei.

Here comes the Heron, dancing along in the front of the procession.

Here comes the frog or is it a Leopard Toad? 6 people are involved to move it along,
2 inside and 1 for each leg. This frog has all the moves.

Wow! the drummers sure make a lot of noise, beating out the rhythms on those drums.

The children were enthralled with this "groot padda".

Kevin preparing the anchor for the islands.

Patrick Dowling (WESSA) explaing to everyone what he is hoping to achieve with the
floating islands. Dr Kevin Winter (UCT - Environmental and Geographical Sciences)
listening along with everyone one else in hearing distance.

George Davis  recording the activity. Kevin is explaining the 
results of the report of the water sample tests taken in the vlei the week before. 
The concensus was the water quality was quite good.

So next, Errol Smith is helping his daughter to pull the island off the sand bank.

A good variety of plant species is on this island.

There goes the first island to the area decided on.

Errol towing the second island into place.

Kevin in yellow canoe is preparing to drop the anchor overboard. The islands were tied
together and anchored with a long rope to allow for water height variations.
They had tested the depth before and found it was about 3.5 metres deep in this area.

The test is to see how the wetland plants adapt on their islands.

  • Will birds use the islands as a roost and resting place?

  • What other creatures will colonise the islands?

  • Will fish use them as a refuge?

  • Will other plants start growing on the islands?

  • How many species of insects will live on the islands?

It was getting gloomy with the dark clouds above, as we made our way home.



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