"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Monday, 4 April 2011

Biodiversity - for the young ones

MKid arrived a week ago.  Never easy juggling "visitors" with on-going work, but, "Oh, so worth it" to spend precious time with our grandson.

We wanted to go to the farm this last weekend, but MKid is going to get together with his 'best buddy' this week, which would've meant a very short trip to the farm.  So we have decided that next Saturday, after we see MKid off at the airport, we will amble on to the farm for a 3 - 4 day stay - and hopfully get a bit done... so much to do, so little time...

The old Greenpoint Stadium
prior to the 2010 makeover
To get MKid out of the house, we took a drive to the 2010 World Cup Stadium complex in Greenpoint.  I had read that within the stadium complex they had recently created a park for the locals to enjoy - what better time to explore it than with MKid.  And a perfect place for him and RMan to kick the soccer ball :-)

Ideal football kicking area
Firstly they had a bout of 'booting the ball' in the parking / fan walk area which is under the traffic circle at the entrance to the stadium complex.  Stunningly planted up with foliage on the outer edge of the bridge circle to mitigate the effects of the traffic whizzing round the inside lanes.

Then we went in search of the park...

After stopping a few people to ask directions, we finally found the entrance.  There is an aquaduct running the length of the sidewalk - this aquaduct feeds / circulates the water for the man-made lakes within the Biodiversity Park and the golf course area.  Naturally, boys, will be boys, and the sidewalk was promptly ignored...

The Biodiversity Park is absolutely brilliant.  And so well planned for children to explore.  They have created a terrific physical "spiders web" of posts and notices for children to follow, which portray, in one instance, the consequences of cleaning a paint tin and emptying that water down the drain, with the first information board setting the scene, and the next stages of the "journey", being the water emptying into the rivers and oceans, and it's effect not only on the water quality, but also on the marine and bird life, depicting eventually how man will suffer from this action as the water, marine and bird life is poisoned.  Very clever - children are far more likely to remember a pictorial lesson, than one they just hear.

Biodiversity dome
The actual Biodiversity Park is a series of interlocking / interleading paths set out almost like a maze.  The paths separate the different areas.  For instance, they have an area which demonstrates how the Khoisan (the original indigenous inhabitants of Southern Africa) utilized a minimum of precious wood to build their movable huts - in fact they gave us a good idea for a "boma" (conversation area round a fire pit) on the farm. 

A Khoisan hut, partially covered with "animal" skin

The Khoisan boma
 Then there was a section with beds created and planted up to illustrate the different biospheres of Southern Africa - and the Renosterveld (rhinocerous bush) bed caught our eye - for that is the type of veld we have on the farm.

Between the Biodiversity Park and the stadium, there are different sports areas - and the closest one, the golf course runs next to the park.  The two are separated by a large man-made lake - this is already home to seagulls, ducks, etc. - living proof of the feasibility of what has been created out of what was essentially waste land.

The final attraction we visited, before hunger and thirst overtook us, was the Alemmatic Sundial.  Brilliant - I want one of these on the farm too :-)  MKid was facinated that his shadow, which was cast by the sun, could tell him the time.

A brilliant park and one which RMan and I have mutually decided that we want to return to - perhaps with a picnic this time.

We can do without the music concert which started just as we were leaving - this kind of place should be enjoyed for its' peace and tranquility - the music was, in our opinion, a mistake.

Such a simple concept, a whole bunch of dedicated workers, and the end result - a perfect place to teach children important information on this planet we inhabit so briefly - concerning the number and variety of organisms found within a specified geographic region, how precious and inter-dependent they are, and how easily mankind can harm them with his thoughtless actions.

I reckon that with this park, the City of Cape Town has gone a long way towards healing the harm that was caused with the building of the world cup stadium.  And once the newly planted shrubs and trees have had time to settle in they will provide another little piece of heaven within a city :-)


Jane said...

It looks like a very nice place to spend an afternoon with your Grandson.

Mr. H. said...

What a neat park and a good learning experience for the boy.

African Bliss said...

Thanks for that, very interesting and positive..

Dani said...

Jane - couldn't have picked a better place

Mr H - do so wish you could see it, to understand what I have tried to convey

African Bliss - maybe take a visit on your next trip to CT?

Anonymous said...

What a great place to visit. What a great place for kids (and adults to learn things) Emily

tffnguy said...

Very nice place. I sure would like to have that big dome here! What a nice start to a house that would make.

Dani said...

Emilysincerely - yes, RMan and I also learnt a thing or two LOL

ttfnguy - t'is a magnificent dome, I agree :-)