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The Table Mountain Fund WWF contributes substantially to the Green Corridor project

 

 Media release 

The Table Mountain Fund WWF contributes substantially to the Green Corridor project 

26th September 2016 

The Table Mountain Fund is a capital Conservation Trust Fund that develops and funds projects to protect and restore the world-famous natural heritage of the Cape, known as Fynbos. These projects range from purchasing important conservation land and engaging landowners in sustainable land management, to funding applied research and supporting civil society to carry out innovative conservation projects in high value conservation areas. 

The Grootbos Foundation proudly announces that the Table Mountain Fund has decided to render significant support to develop our flagship conservation project, the Green Corridor. 

This new conservation effort is focused on developing a link between the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and Agulhas National Park; thereby preserving the critically endangered lowland fynbos of this unique region in the Overberg. 

It is envisaged that this Green Corridor will develop into an ecologically functional and economically viable zone within five years, providing measurable positive conservation results and tangible positive impacts for local communities in a vulnerable region of exceptional conservation value. 

We look forward to three years of a mutually productive partnership in a driven effort to preserve our Fynbos for future generations. 

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Contact: Karin Blumer 

Fundraising Manager 

082 4144 614 

karin@grootbosfoundation.org 

Grootbos Foundation chosen as National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalist

The Grootbos Foundation is thrilled to have been selected as one of the 15 annual finalists in the National Geographic World Legacy Awards 2015. Our Foundation was selected as one of three nominees in the category "Engaging Communities." This is for organisations that offer 'direct and tangible economic and social benefits that improve local livelihoods (including training and capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care and education." Read more about the prestigious awards and our fellow nominees here. 

Click to view the press release here.

Community Sports and Coach Education in Hout Bay receives significant support from the British High Commission

South Africa is faced with the stubborn reality of widespread poverty, unemployment and growing inequality. Youth in particular are affected by increased gang and criminal activity, HIV/AIDS, poor education, unemployment and teenage pregnancy. Ultimately education and employment provides a way to break the cycle of poverty, inequality and crime / anti – social behaviour, and this programme contributes to that agenda.

The Grootbos Green Futures Foundation has since 2003 been providing skills training and community capacitation programmes in the Overberg region. As a result of excellent programme design, it became imperative to replicate these in other areas of the Western Cape where the dire need for sport education and training existed.

The Imizami Yethu township of Hout Bay poses a similar scenario as the rural villages in the Overberg namely over-population, migrant worker influx, lack of job skills-training facilities and a resulting unemployment ratio which escalates into unacceptable social behaviour. In the face of this harsh reality, the Grootbos Foundation initiated the roll out of a youth sport- and coach education programme for Hout Bay, building on existing programmes successfully implemented by the Foundation in 2014 in Hout Bay in partnership with eta, the City of Cape Town and the Hout Bay Sports Council. Imizami Yethu township in Hout Bay urgently requires after-school constructive and character-building activities for children and youth from this marginalised community, thus the Youth Football for Development programme to reach children aged 6-16 and a coach education programme for youths aged 16 -25 aimed at high school students and young adults, will benefit from the generous donation of eight thousand pounds from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office.

Two of the Grootbos Foundation coaches completed Phase 1 – 3 of the Premier Skills programme, an initiative sponsored by Premier League and British Council. Part of the training syllabus of these coaches is to transfer the skills acquired during phase 1 through 3. This is an excellent opportunity for the newly trained coach educators to gain practical on the job experience and to train new candidates.

The role that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office plays in supporting the Grootbos Foundation and the development of previously disadvantaged individuals from South Africa, showcases how the UK can support South African non-profit organisations in social development projects. Our countries have strong ties in tourism and environmental research; the British High Commission’s support and commitment to our research and educational programmes have proved invaluable.

Green Futures team completes major contract

Green Futures team celebrated the completion of the 18th month Haw & Inglis contract with a sumptuous braai at Sophie’s Place in Elim on Thursday 17 September, sharing laughs and stories of all the challenges faced and overcome during this project.

The Green Futures Horticulture College and Nursery of the Grootbos Foundation secured a contract with Haw & Inglis in 2014 to populate the roadsides of the new Elim - Baardscheerdersbosch road with indigenous plants. This included hydroseeding of the embankments disturbed by the construction from Uilkraal Farm up to Elim village. In April last year 400 kilograms of seed were harvested from the plants along the road before they were taken out by the road engineers. Whilst the roadworks proceeded, the dedicated team of Green Futures planted trees in Elim and did the final grading of the whole area which was completed in May this year. The preparation for the hydroseeding started at long last in June 2015 by distributing top soil, scarifying and sowing the seeds by hand together with the Hydroseeding team. From there they moved on to Baardscheerdersbosch where planting continued until September. This project exceeded all expectations and the completion proves that the Green Futures team is geared and competent to take on fierce horticultural challenges!

Grootbos Foundation taking a stand on litterbugs in the fynbos kingdom

“It is in your hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” – Nelson Mandela.

The Grootbos Foundation is dedicating its 67 minutes to cleaning the environment on Friday 17 July at 10h30 when staff members take to the street in Gansbaai to take a visible stand against littering.

Donning their black and green t-shirts they will pick up plastics, papers and litter. Positioned at major crossings, motorists will be urged to hand over their litter instead of tossing it out of their windows once they hit the road outside the city limits with the message to cherish the environment and not taint the natural beauty of our pristine fynbos landscape.

The 67 minute clean-up march for Mandela will make a strategic stop at the municipal headquarters at 11h37 to hand over a petition urging the municipal councillors to install  road signs at both the town entrances to remind the motorists going past our Walker Bay Conservancy and past the Agulhas Park to refrain from polluting the environment.

As a major eco-tourism organisation which envisions conservation and preserving a pristine environment for generations to come, the Grootbos Foundation and the Grootbos Nature Reserve are speaking up and making a visible gesture to local townsfolk to join us in this venture.

Grootbos Foundation pilots Hospitality Training course

The first group of 10 Hospitality Training students graduated on the 29th July at a ceremony held at Forest Lodge on Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. The Grootbos Foundation staff , parents and supporters applauded the tenacity and perseverance of these pioneers to succeed.

In his speech, the CEO of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Michael Lutzeyer commended the Green Futures College manager, Susan Lochner for her inspirational leadership and exemplary training skills and praised Viola Siyotywa, Green Futures Life Skills lecturer, for leading the 10 graduates into the possibilities of a bright future of further study and employment.

Six months ago, these trainees did not even know what a “mouse” was, highlighting the incredible feat of these youngsters to master basic English, computer literacy and the training course in one go during the past months.

Their success also astounded Craig Versfeld from Lobster Ink, who handed over the certificates. Lobster Ink is an internationally accredited on-line training course in Hospitality.

The Grootbos Foundation thanks the Datio Foundation for their sponsorship of these students.

If you wish to support our mission of empowering local citizens via skills training call us at 028 384 8048 or e-mail karin@grootbosfoundation.org or donate online at: http://www.grootbosfoundation.org/pages/donate.php

 

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and Grootbos Foundation receive the Midas Touch at the African Responsible Tourism Awards

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is the joint gold winner in the African Responsible Tourism Awards: Poverty Reduction 2015.

 

This thrilling announcement was made last Thursday 16 April at the gala event at World Travel Market Africa, when Grootbos walked away with this coveted acknowledgement of the responsible tourism ethos instilled at the reserve.

 

The African Responsible Tourism Awards celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism on the African continent and showcase tourism organisations which are, actively and demonstrably, taking responsibility for making tourism stronger.

 

From the onset the spirited owners of Grootbos envisaged the transformation of the poverty-stricken surrounding communities through capacitating citizens. They set forth on a mission to conserve the biodiversity of Grootbos and the greater Walker Bay vicinity and to develop sustainable livelihoods through responsible ecotourism, enterprise development, sports development and education. For more than a decade Grootbos and their non-profit partner organization – the Grootbos Foundation - have designed and implemented social developmental and environmental conservation projects in the horticulture, agriculture, conservation, sport and education fields to empower local rural communities.

 

“…The world renowned Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a multiple award winning five star ecotourism destination which specialises in the remarkable terrestrial and marine biodiversity of the Cape region of South Africa. For nearly two decades Grootbos has promoted the region’s beauty, interpreted its intricate stories, researched some of its many secrets and developed a suite of projects focused on conserving this exceptional part of the world for posterity. The Foundation was established in 2003 by reserve owners, the Lutzeyer family, with the aim of simultaneously protecting the unique natural environment of the region, and also improving the lives of local communities in a concrete, sustainable manner. A core philosophy linking conservation with social development initiatives has made Grootbos a world leader in terms of sustainable and responsible ecotourism.”

 

This award is a major highlight for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and the Grootbos Foundation and puts the bellows to the fire to reach even bigger heights in our mission to enhance our surrounding communities as flourishing beacons of inspiration.

 

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The full press release of African Responsible Tourism with details of both gold and silver winners available at  http://www.responsibletravel.com/awards/africa/winners-2015.htm

 

A small selection of photographs is available on the WTM Africa gallery.  http://wtmafrica.mediafiler.net/wtmafrica/start/index/WTM%20Africa%202015/Day%202%20Thursday?fc=browse&column=6

Dibanisa creating young Green Ambassadors in the Overstrand – an initiative of the Grootbos Foundation

The first Dibanisa E.V group for 2015 kicked off on the 29th of January with participants aged 8 – 14 sourced at local primary schools.

This 7 week environmental education programme, sponsored by Dibanisa E.V. (through the Stand up for Nature Paddle fundraising event in Hamburg lead by Axel Ohm) and supported by the Agulhas Biodiversity Initiative, teaches the children about the environment in a fun and interactive way, with a focus on the fynbos and marine environments - the two main ecosystems found in Gansbaai.  

Our lessons include an introduction, a lecture on the Marine Big 5 presented by the Dyer island Conservation Trust, a visit to the Grootbos Green Futures College to learn more about the importance of plants and fynbos, a visit to our Growing the Future organic farm to learn about organic, sustainable agriculture and a beach clean-up to teach the children the importance of waste management and why it is important to reduce, re-use and recycle.

Finally the children learn about the importance of predators from the Panthera Africa team and attend a lesson on water safety. 

The session ended off with a camp at Uilenkraalsmond Holiday Resort on the weekend of 13 March to recap and illustrate what they learnt during the 7 weeks, to explore the beach, have fun and making new friends.

Grootbos Green Futures Foundation College Students off to Eden Project, Cornwall, UK

Three of our students will embark on the adventure of a life time at the end of March when they board a plane for the very first time to participate in experiential training at the Eden Project in Cornwall, thanks to the support of the British High Commission.

The Grootbos Foundation has a long standing connection with the Eden Project (www.edenproject.com). Grootbos’ acclaimed botanist and Director, Sean Privett, worked at Eden to establish their Mediterranean biome, and we have enjoyed a working relationship ever since. We share the ethos of protecting the amazing diversity and value of plants to humanity, the importance of conserving our natural heritage and showcasing our dependence on nature.  This message is strongly reinforced to our Green Futures students through their exchange visit to Eden each year. 

Over the last thirteen years, since the inception of the Green Futures College, we have managed to send students on exchange to Eden on ten separate occasions.  Eden has provided the annual three week experiential training opportunity and accommodation on site in Cornwall.  Eden and Grootbos have also developed a partnership whereby Eden staff members visit the Green Futures College, situated on the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, to learn and experience the Cape Floral Kingdom – the smallest yet most diverse of the world’s floral kingdoms.

The role that Eden and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office plays in supporting the Grootbos Foundation and the development of previously disadvantaged individuals from South Africa, showcases how the UK can support South African non-profit organisations in social development projects. Our countries have strong ties in tourism and environmental research, and this has been evident in our continued relationship with Eden and their support and commitment to our research and educational programmes.

 

 

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve finalist in three categories of the WE ARE AFRICA INNOVATION AWARDS 2015

After the 2014 win in the category Community Engagement, it has been announced that Grootbos Private Nature Reserve has been declared a finalist in 3 categories of the 2015 African Innovation Awards. This astonishing news is both exhilarating and confirms the ethos of excellence and community investment this exclusive private nature reserve has established since inception.

The Grootbos Foundation has an extensive array of community outreach programmes at the very cutting edge, leading the way in promoting sustainability and conservation, with initiatives in sport, encouraging children and young adults to learn about unity and understanding between communities, enterprise development and training in indigenous horticulture and field guiding.

The sought-after We are Africa Innovation Awards celebrate the most inspiring and innovative ventures of African travel –only the most innovative brands make the shortlist - therefore the Grootbos nomination as finalist in three categories are met with appreciation and sheer delight.

It is a brilliant feather in the cap for the initiatives of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and the Grootbos Foundation to empower the surrounding communities in the bigger Walker Bay region in their quest to create a responsible tourism model.

The winners will be announced at a gala event in Cape Town on the 5th May.

Press Releases

Below are our latest press releases which can be downloaded in full by clicking on the appropriate link:

November 2014: Grootbos Foundation Annual Report FY13/14. View Here.

September 2014: Grootbos Foundation wins prestigious SEED Initiative Award for local gardening and food security project. Read More.

September 2014: 5000 Euros raised for Dibanisa Conservation Programme by Stand Up For Nature in Hamburg, Germany. Read More.

July 2014: Grootbos Foundation partners with Absa to launch new Siyakhula Careers, Employability and Enterprise Programme. Read More.

June 2014: First students from Hout Bay Skills Programme graduate. Read More.