GEORGE NEWS - A team of skilled volunteers recently joined an initiative to clean up the banks of the Malgas River in Blanco, along with children and role players from the Blanco area.
Invasive tree species found on the river banks were removed and ring barked and 46 bags of refuse were collected from the vicinity in a quest to pay nature its due respects.
The initiative, called "Respect the River", was hosted by the Botanical Society of South Africa's Garden Route branch and local partners, including Wessa Eden, George Municipality, the Garden Route Botanical Garden, the Landmark Foundation and Kos en Fynbos.
The morning started off with an informative session on the importance of keeping our river systems clean, followed by a refuse cleaning session under the direction of Eve Stoffels of Kos & Fynbos, who resides in Blanco. Ruan Seibert and Branden Hair led the team of volunteers.
"It is our hope that, in time, many indigenous tree species that are endemic to the area can be replanted at the site in conjunction with the local community in order to maintain the ecosystems and prevent soil erosion along this vital river system," said Pauline Cloete, chairperson of the Botanical Society of South Africa's Garden Route branch.
Stoffels called on the public, local environmental organisations and town councillors for assistance in combating the issue of illegal dumping on the banks of the Malgas River. "Our youth and community leaders are trying our best to clean the Malgas River, but every time progress is made, more waste is dumped illegally," she said.
"This makes it very hard to make progress and to keep motivated. We are tired of fighting this problem and we require more assistance."
The next "Respect the River" clean-up initiative is planned for Saturday 14 November from 09:00 to 12:00 at the Malgas River bridge between Blanco and Heather Park.
For information contact Pauline Cloete on 082 887 5423 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
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