The Garden Route is well (and internationally) known for its natural beauty. Certain other areas, especially within urban areas around South Africa get less attention but may need much more, especially to aid conservation and keep unnecessary development at bay.
One such area is Princess Vlei, Cape Town. This very recent success story is uniquely South African in so many ways and truly warms my heart.
The Princess Vlei area fell into neglect and was earmarked for re-zoning and development of yet another shopping mall.
The traditionally separated communities surrounding the vlei have stood and fought together and, to spite some nasty turns, saved their vlei! Not only have they forced the city of Cape Town (through public participation and opinion) to stop any further development around the vlei but they have also rehabilitated the area and created a vision for future conservation.
The focus on the history, the unity and community building is amazing.
You can read all the details (for inspiration I hope) on the Princess Vlei website
Not directly related to this but also a source of pride, is Cape Town being named the Earth Hour capital for 2014 – read more about this here
Sticking with conservation awareness to the coastline (literally), I read an article on Grant Christie who is walking the South Africa coastline to aid conservation and increase awareness as part of a Wilderness Foundation project – Six Million Steps.
In the Knysna Plett Herald article, which also mentions German cyclist Willi Kroeker, Grant talks about the hospitably of the people and their ongoing care and concern.
I don’t think my legs would make it past the first day but you and I can keep up with Grant on Facebook www.facebook.com/sixmillionsteps
So in conclusion – ordinary people are capable of extraordinary feats – and that includes you and I – when our passion is strong!