Conservation group signs partnership with City

Fosna chairman Dave Balfour and ward councillor Aimee Kuhl with the recently signed agreement between Fosna and the City on managing the Lower Silvermine Wetlands.

The Friends of Silvermine Nature Area (Fosna) has signed a partnership pact with the City on managing the Lower Sivermine Wetlands.

The deal holds great promise for the preservation and management of the area, according to Fosna chairman Dave Balfour.

“While the agreement doesn’t delve into specific obligations, these will be hashed out in due course through discussions with City planners and ecologists,“ he said, adding that the main aim was to contribute to the development and execution of an environmental management plan for the wetlands.

Fosna employs two wardens to control litter, report potential by-law violations, do minor maintenance and promote citizen involvement, and the organisation has also worked with the City to post signage in the area.

Mr Balfour said a recent donation of R50 000 from the mayor’s office had already proved valuable.

The City’s dredging and reed clearing in the wetlands had also “led to a sense for many locals who use the wetlands of not only feeling safer but also of seeing increased bird life, Cape clawless otters and more”, he said.

Ward councillor Aimee Kuhl said: “Fosna fills a critical gap where the City lacks the capacity to maintain public spaces like the Lower Silvermine Wetlands. Their efforts not only raise awareness about this natural asset but also protect it, making an invaluable contribution to the community’s understanding and appreciation of nature.“