On the Verge beautifying Noordhoek

The On the Vege team with founder Kathy Fish and her dog, Charlie, in front.

On the Verge, a community greening project, has been beautifying the verges in Noordhoek for the past 14 years.

The project is the brainchild of Kathy Fish and consists of a team of eight men and four women.

Locals are familiar with the sign “We are on the verge today” when the team works every Wednesday.

The idea of On the Verge came to Ms Fish after travelling between Bonnivale and Robertson.

“The verges were incredibly beautiful, and the farmers had done an amazing job adding colour. I couldn’t stop talking or thinking about it. I mentioned it to a friend, and she said: ‘Just stop talking about it and do it.’”

Ms Fish said the team has the support of the city council and the Noordhoek Ratepayers Association.

Over the years, she said, On The Verge has planted hundreds of trees and gardened 37 verges in the area. They also clear alien vegetation and maintain walking and bridle paths in Noordhoek.

On the Verge has recently tackled some new projects, which include creating a new garden at one of the local parks and helping to set up two eco-benches in public areas.

They have also set up nine bus-stop benches, and have created pedestrian paths along Hurter, Silvermine, and Beach roads using donated gum poles.

“We are very excited to be erecting wooden signposts to mark many of the greenbelt paths that we maintain,” she said.

To support the project, Ms Fish started a fund-raiser, Noordhoek Open Gardens, with Noordhoek Tourism nine years ago.

“The event also brings tourists and visitors to Noordhoek,” she said.

This year, Noordhoek Open Gardens will take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 21 and 22 and there will be 20 gardens for the public to enjoy.

“It’s the most gardens we’ve ever had and five of them are new gardens which is very exciting,” she said.

The Noordhoek Environmental Action Group (NEAG) will be doing tours of Chapman’s Peak Nature Sanctuary and visitors can learn about eco-systems that once covered large parts of Noordhoek. The tours will take place at 11am and 3pm on both days.

Single-entry tickets are R25, day passes are R125 and weekend passes are R250. Entry is free for under-18s and there is a discount for pensioners. Tickets are available at every garden on show. Brochures and maps are available at southern suburbs nurseries as well as on the Noordhoek Tourism website.

Chairman of the Noordhoek Ratepayers’ Association Brad Bing said the association was thrilled to support the 2023 Noordhoek Open Gardens event again.

“Kathy and her team of local volunteers, Cara, Joy and Sarah, supported by the team of gardeners, are doing a fantastic job in maintaining verges in prominent locations across Noordhoek. Not only are they maintaining what they have taken on throughout the years, but in the last year have expanded the number of verges and footpaths under their wings. It is the community spirit, shown by people like this, that makes Noordhoek such a special place to live. We are truly blessed and hope that this event gets a massive turnout as it helps fund their work for the coming year.”

Ms Fish said she was thankful that On the Verge had survived the pandemic and grateful for the continuous support of the community and local businesses.

“We are always grateful for donations of plants, poles, mulch, and trees from the community and hope that you can spot your contributions planted around Noordhoek,” she said.

For more information about On the Verge, visit their Facebook page.

On the Verge team members from left are, Michael Mnhlonhlo, Mike Sibiya and Marva Maka.
Lloyd Chiwaula from On the Verge in uniform.