Yesterday I visited a green gem in the heart of Cape Town called the Green Point Eco Park. Located in the vicinity of Cape Town Stadium, the park educates visitors about local biodiversity and the indigenous people of the Cape.
I really admire the fact that the City of Cape Town converted an unused area into a space where both people and nature can coexist side-by-side – displaying shades of a landscaped, Utopia-like scene. Green Point Eco Park was opened in April 2011 and has a clear focus on biodiversity, with a fascinating short walk inside the park dedicated to the local flora from these parts. Educational signs tell the story of how each plant was used for a variety of medicinal purposes by the indigenous Khoisan, who arrived in the area a little over 2 000 years ago. Wild mint, sorrel, wild fig and wild rosemary are but a few of the plants we learned about, as well as the tribal knowledge of each, which I personally found highly interesting.
A wetland has been successfully created inside the park, attracting a large number of birds including kelp and grey-headed gulls, red-knobbed coots, Egyptian geese and hadeda ibises. Species that can be spotted lurking in the veld are cape bulbuls, cape canaries and lesser double-collared sunbirds, to name a few.
Notable sights at the park are the ‘stepping stone’ bridge where you can walk on the level of the wetland, the replica of the water-wheel pump which was used by the first Dutch settlers and the kraal replicas of the Khoisan people. For families, a huge positive is the safety: the park is open daily from 7 am to 7 pm and is monitored by an active security patrol. Virtually litter-free and clean, this is a haven for people wishing to get out into nature but in the proximity of the city. Entry is free of charge and the appeal of Green Point Eco Park is for just about everybody.
Read more about the park here.