Welcome to the FoCVGB~

Things happening in the Valley!

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Did you know...?
On the natural flow of the rivers, the threat of erosion and excessive sediment as well as a reminder for dog owners to please pick up the poo to keep our rivers in good health 🙂

"Flowing through the greenbelts, the Diep river is an unlined channel, and while the space around it is attractive, the river here is far from natural.
An ecological study in 2002 estimated the river’s present ecological state to fall in category D, which is indicative of an ecosystem that is largely modified from its natural state. Much of the wetland habitat is no longer, and the indigenous fynbos and wetland vegetation has largely been replaced by exotic plants.
In some instances, when they grow in the river channel, these can be problematic, as they alter river flow, destabilise the banks, and consume a lot of water. They do, however, provide a sense of place as well as shade and habitat, especially for birds. Although a significant amount of work has been done to remove invasive alien plants, this is an ongoing challenge due to the vast seed bank and the quick growth of saplings.
Another challenge is the continued impact of erosion and sedimentation on the river channel and banks. Without the wetland systems to hold back and slow down the flow, the fast-moving water causes the river to cut into the channel bottom and banks.

Footpaths down to the water edge, as well as stormwater pipes from the surrounding roads, can be the start of erosion knickpoints. Some of the gabions put in place in 1996 have helped limit the erosion, but rivers are dynamic, and additional measures are now required in places. The deposition of eroded materials is an issue, particularly along the river after it flows past the Alphen Boutique Hotel. Here, vast amounts of sediment need to be periodically removed from the river with a mechanical excavator.
Fortunately, thanks to its location fairly high up the catchment, the quality of water in the river is usually fairly good, and it is only further downstream that the water quality shows signs of deterioration.
Yet periodic sewer spillages do occur, and dog waste is also a problem at times, as is swimming pool backwash that enters the river from the stormwater pipes.

The allocated budget for greenbelt and river maintenance is not always sufficient to meet citywide needs. The Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts also faces challenges raising sufficient budget, and the money they do raise is rarely enough to do all the work that is needed."

(Extracted from "Cape Town's Liveable Urban Waterways" report by City of Cape Town)
... See MoreSee Less

Did you know...?
On the natural flow of the rivers, the threat of erosion and excessive sediment as well as a reminder for dog owners to please pick up the poo to keep our rivers in good health :-) 

Flowing through the greenbelts, the Diep river is an unlined channel, and while the space around it is attractive, the river here is far from natural.
An ecological study in 2002 estimated the river’s present ecological state to fall in category D, which is indicative of an ecosystem that is largely modified from its natural state. Much of the wetland habitat is no longer, and the indigenous fynbos and wetland vegetation has largely been replaced by exotic plants.
In some instances, when they grow in the river channel, these can be problematic, as they alter river flow, destabilise the banks, and consume a lot of water. They do, however, provide a sense of place as well as shade and habitat, especially for birds. Although a significant amount of work has been done to remove invasive alien plants, this is an ongoing challenge due to the vast seed bank and the quick growth of saplings.
Another challenge is the continued impact of erosion and sedimentation on the river channel and banks. Without the wetland systems to hold back and slow down the flow, the fast-moving water causes the river  to cut into the channel bottom and banks. 

Footpaths down to the water edge, as well as stormwater pipes from the surrounding roads, can be the start of erosion knickpoints. Some of the gabions put in place in 1996 have helped limit the erosion, but rivers are dynamic, and additional measures are now required in places. The deposition of eroded materials is an issue, particularly along the river after it flows past the Alphen Boutique Hotel. Here, vast amounts of sediment need to be periodically removed from the river with a mechanical excavator.
Fortunately, thanks to its location fairly high up the catchment, the quality of water in the river is usually fairly good, and it is only further downstream that the water quality shows signs of deterioration.
Yet periodic sewer spillages do occur, and dog waste is also a problem at times, as is swimming pool backwash that enters the river from the stormwater pipes.

The allocated budget for greenbelt and river maintenance is not always sufficient to meet citywide needs. The Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts also faces challenges raising sufficient budget, and the money they do raise is rarely enough to do all the work that is needed.

(Extracted from Cape Towns Liveable Urban Waterways report by City of Cape Town)

Why not do something extraordinary today! Make your recycling make a difference!
Location of the recycling depo at The Constantia Village is on the Exclusive Books side of the village, in the parking area. There are very helpful guys there to help you sort and ensure you do your bit to help the greenbelts!
... See MoreSee Less

Why not do something extraordinary today! Make your recycling make a difference!
Location of the recycling depo at The Constantia Village is on the Exclusive Books side of the village, in the parking area. There are very helpful guys there to help you sort and ensure you do your bit to help the greenbelts!

Feeling like making a BIG difference today. Why not pop your recycling down to the recycling depo at The Constantia Village . All proceeds from the glass and cardboard recycling go to the Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts to help maintain and restore our amazing greenbelts. ... See MoreSee Less

Feeling like making a BIG difference today. Why not pop your recycling down to the recycling depo at The Constantia Village . All proceeds from the glass and cardboard recycling go to the Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts to help maintain and restore our amazing greenbelts.

Yup, it's a small act, but your recycling can have a BIG impact on how much we can do in the Greenbelts! Please consider taking your recycling down to the The Constantia Village recycling depo today! ... See MoreSee Less

Yup, its a small act, but your recycling can have a BIG impact on how much we can do in the Greenbelts! Please consider taking your recycling down to the The Constantia Village  recycling depo today!

The series continues...
(which includes information on the nature and scope of our work as well as how and where we coordinate with the City!)

"The greenbelt is a public open space and is the responsibility of the City, in particular Recreation and Parks, to manage. The annual budget of approximately R140 000 is primarily used for invasive alien plant clearing, the employment of the two green wardens stationed on the greenbelts, repairs and maintenance of infrastructure, as well as a few special projects.

Management of the river is the responsibility of the Catchment, Stormwater and River Management Branch in the Water and Sanitation Directorate, while their Repairs and Maintenance Division undertakes periodic clearing of sediment, litter and vegetation, using the annual repairs and maintenance budget.
Concerned residents established the Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts around 1994 in response to the municipality’s apparent lack of maintenance of the greenbelts. The organisation now plays an important part in conserving and managing the space.

The non-profit raises funds through donations and community initiatives such as glass and paper recycling. These funds are then used to undertake a range of projects that improve the trails, including clearing of paths, removing invasive alien vegetation, trimming overgrown bushes, and planting indigenous species. Through a small committee, the organisation works closely with the City to coordinate activities. Each of the trails in the valley has its own river warden, who is responsible for monitoring their assigned section of greenbelt. Any issues detected or suggestions for improvement are communicated through the committee to the City officials.
A conservation officer from Recreation and Parks meets regularly with the Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts regarding management of the public open space. This has improved the relationship with the City, as the two organisations can work together to achieve common goals."
... See MoreSee Less

The series continues... 
(which includes information on the nature and scope of our work as well as how and where we coordinate with the City!)

The greenbelt is a public open space and is the responsibility of the City, in particular Recreation and Parks, to manage. The annual budget of approximately R140 000 is primarily used for invasive alien plant clearing, the employment of the two green wardens stationed on the greenbelts, repairs and maintenance of infrastructure, as well as a few special projects.

Management of the river is the responsibility of the Catchment, Stormwater and River Management Branch in the Water and Sanitation Directorate, while their Repairs and Maintenance Division undertakes periodic clearing of sediment, litter and vegetation, using the annual repairs and maintenance budget.
Concerned residents established the Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts around 1994 in response to the municipality’s apparent lack of maintenance of the greenbelts. The organisation now plays an important part in conserving and managing the space.

The non-profit raises funds through donations and community initiatives such as glass and paper recycling. These funds are then used to undertake a range of projects that improve the trails, including clearing of paths, removing invasive alien vegetation, trimming overgrown bushes, and planting indigenous species. Through a small committee, the organisation works closely with the City to coordinate activities. Each of the trails in the valley has its own river warden, who is responsible for monitoring their assigned section of greenbelt. Any issues detected or suggestions for improvement are communicated through the committee to the City officials.
A conservation officer from Recreation and Parks meets regularly with the Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts regarding management of the public open space. This has improved the relationship with the City, as the two organisations can work together to achieve common goals.

Comment on Facebook

(Extracted from "Cape Town's Liveable Urban Waterways" report by City of Cape Town)

All you need to do is drop your cleaned recycling at The Constantia Village recycling depo. All the proceeds from GLASS and CARDBOARD go to the Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts for maintaining our riverine cultural landscapes. ... See MoreSee Less

All you need to do is drop your cleaned recycling at The Constantia Village  recycling depo. All the proceeds from GLASS and CARDBOARD go to the Friends of Constantia Valley Greenbelts for maintaining our riverine cultural landscapes.

And just like that we can all do our part, pop your glass and cardboard to the recycling centre at The Constantia Village and you will be helping to keep the greenbelts as stunning as they currently are! Proceeds from this recycling ensure the work in the greenbelts can continue! ... See MoreSee Less

And just like that we can all do our part, pop your glass and cardboard to the recycling centre at The Constantia Village  and you will be helping to keep the greenbelts as stunning as they currently are! Proceeds from this recycling ensure the work in the greenbelts can continue!

A shoutout to our friends at Pristine Earth Collective, a wonderful organisation founded by a group of concerned surfers and parents to stop plastic from entering our environment and oceans.

Their inclusive employment model involves staff cleaning and patrolling a neighbourhood to clear away litter and monitor any suspicious activity. PEC employs trusted people from a nearby low-income area who will be highly visible and accountable.

The key reciprocity aspect is that these employees then clean in their own community once a week, usually around schools and health centres.

Since 2021 they have collected 16 TONS of litter (that's 11,000 bags!) in Constantia alone.

Please support their work if you can as they want to expand their work in our neighbourhood to keep it beautiful...and well, pristine. 🙂
... See MoreSee Less

A shoutout to our friends at Pristine Earth Collective, a wonderful organisation founded by a group of concerned surfers and parents to stop plastic from entering our environment and oceans.

Their inclusive employment model involves staff cleaning and patrolling a neighbourhood to clear away litter and monitor any suspicious activity. PEC employs trusted people from a nearby low-income area who will be highly visible and accountable.

The key reciprocity aspect is that these employees then clean in their own community once a week, usually around schools and health centres.

Since 2021 they have collected 16 TONS of litter (thats 11,000 bags!) in Constantia alone.

Please support their work if you can as they want to expand their work in our neighbourhood to keep it beautiful...and well, pristine. :-)

More from our story series about the Diep River Alphen Greenbelt:

"In 2009, to manage erosion just upstream of the Alphen Drive culverts, the City installed some gabions on the right bank of the river. Alphen Estate, which parts of the river flow through, has also done a considerable amount over the years to eradicate invasive alien species along the river flowing through the estate, and has planted indigenous species to control erosion. The estate also recently installed an additional low weir and Reno mattress structure to tie into the City-installed gabions.

The Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts and its partners recently developed a wetland garden adjacent to the river near Brommersvlei Road (see picture). The garden has created a small pocket of biodiversity and represents what would have been typical of the area many years ago.
Ponds were created, the wetland was shaped, and 50 indigenous species were planted after invasive kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) was removed. In addition to the plants, the wetland garden provides a welcome habitat for aquatic and terrestrial animals that move up and down the river corridor. When funding becomes available, the Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts intends to replicate this wetland garden concept in other places along the river."
... See MoreSee Less

More from our story series about the Diep River Alphen Greenbelt:

In 2009, to manage erosion just upstream of the Alphen Drive culverts, the City installed some gabions on the right bank of the river. Alphen Estate, which parts of the river flow through, has also done a considerable amount over the years to eradicate invasive alien species along the river flowing through the estate, and has planted indigenous species to control erosion. The estate also recently installed an additional low weir and Reno mattress structure to tie into the City-installed gabions.

The Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts and its partners recently developed a wetland garden adjacent to the river near Brommersvlei Road (see picture). The garden has created a small pocket of biodiversity and represents what would have been typical of the area many years ago.
Ponds were created, the wetland was shaped, and 50 indigenous species were planted after invasive kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) was removed. In addition to the plants, the wetland garden provides a welcome habitat for aquatic and terrestrial animals that move up and down the river corridor. When funding becomes available, the Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts intends to replicate this wetland garden concept in other places along the river.

Comment on Facebook

So lovely: question: typical if the area many years ago- how many years ago.

Looks good. Well done.

The series continues!

Did you know...?

"Being an urban river, the Diep river has been altered over the years and no longer functions as it would have under natural conditions. In the 1980s, a number of flood detention ponds were constructed to reduce the impact of flooding downstream in Plumstead and beyond.

Of particular concern in the early 1990s was the significant alien invasive plant invasion and large-scale erosion of the river banks. In response to these issues, the local authority commissioned Ninham Shand in 1993 to recommend options for better management and rehabilitation of the river. The study culminated in a project that ran from 1996 to 1999. The project removed invasive alien vegetation constructed a total of six gabion weirs at intervals down the length of the river, planted some indigenous riparian vegetation, graded and shaped the banks, and repositioned two pedestrian bridges. The weirs reduced upstream erosion and effectively raised the height of the stream bed in these reaches, facilitating the formation of a few seasonally inundated wetlands on the edge of the river. Overall, the project resulted in a number of very positive changes in the waterway and helped achieve an ecosystem that functions more naturally, albeit in a limited area.

However, as the project’s primary objective was to manage erosion, it did not achieve the potential for habitat creation that might have been possible with more extensive river widening, re-establishment of wetlands and more adventurous landscaping. Moreover, sections of the river are again showing signs of deterioration, with erosion present in some places, some gabions are collapsing, and certain invasive alien plants have re-established."

Come back for more next week 🙂

(Extracted from "Cape Town's Liveable Urban Waterways" report by City of Cape Town)
... See MoreSee Less

The series continues!

Did you know...?

Being an urban river, the Diep river has been altered over the years and no longer functions as it would have under natural conditions. In the 1980s, a number of flood detention ponds were constructed to reduce the impact of flooding downstream in Plumstead and beyond.

Of particular concern in the early 1990s was the significant alien invasive plant invasion and large-scale erosion of the river banks. In response to these issues, the local authority commissioned Ninham Shand in 1993 to recommend options for better management and rehabilitation of the river. The study culminated in a project that ran from 1996 to 1999. The project removed invasive alien vegetation constructed a total of six gabion weirs at intervals down the length of the river, planted some indigenous riparian vegetation, graded and shaped the banks, and repositioned two pedestrian bridges. The weirs reduced upstream erosion and effectively raised the height of the stream bed in these reaches, facilitating the formation of a few seasonally inundated wetlands on the edge of the river. Overall, the project resulted in a number of very positive changes in the waterway and helped achieve an ecosystem that functions more naturally, albeit in a limited area.

However, as the project’s primary objective was to manage erosion, it did not achieve the potential for habitat creation that might have been possible with more extensive river widening, re-establishment of wetlands and more adventurous landscaping. Moreover, sections of the river are again showing signs of deterioration, with erosion present in some places, some gabions are collapsing, and certain invasive alien plants have re-established.

Come back for more next week :-) 

(Extracted from Cape Towns Liveable Urban Waterways report by City of Cape Town)Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

Good day, where can 1 get the full story please?

Did you know...?

"The Constantia Valley and the area around the Diep river have a rich history. As far back as the late 1600s, the fertile soils were sought after for growing fruit and vegetables for passing ships, and the valley became a world-renowned grape and wine region. Alphen Estate was originally part of the much larger Groot Constantia Estate before it was portioned off in 1714. Much of the upper Diep river and some of its streams would have flowed through the property, and these would have been the main source of water for the farm. A leivoor directed water from the river to a small dam north of the cellars. From here, the water would have driven the wheel and powered the mill. This was one of the oldest mills in South Africa, dating back to 1772. The mill and dam have long gone, but in 1997, archaeologists discovered part of the mill next to the river, and plans are afoot to restore the dam and some of the leivore. Over the years, the farm had various owners and was further subdivided in 1965. At the time, 10% of all land being subdivided had to be set aside as public open space, which, in hindsight, was a visionary and very forward-thinking requirement.

Today, much of the greenbelts are located on what was Alphen Estate. The Diep river greenbelt runs from Southern Cross Drive (close to Rhodes Avenue) to Brommersvlei Road. The Alphen greenbelt then runs from Brommersvlei Road to Alphen Drive. The Alphen trail, the most popular of the trails in the valley, starts at the parking lot on Alphen Drive and continues northwards along the Diep river. Demarcated paths on either side of the river run through mature tree plantations and open meadows. In places, wooden bridges and boardwalks allow one to cross the river. The trail links with many of the other trails, making for a scenic network of walks. In total, there are 12 greenbelt walks in the valley that typically follow the various streams and rivers."

To be continued next week 🙂

(Extracted from "Cape Town's Liveable Urban Waterways" report by City of Cape Town)
... See MoreSee Less

Did you know...?

The Constantia Valley and the area around the Diep river have a rich history. As far back as the late 1600s, the fertile soils were sought after for growing fruit and vegetables for passing ships, and the valley became a world-renowned grape and wine region. Alphen Estate was originally part of the much larger Groot Constantia Estate before it was portioned off in 1714. Much of the upper Diep river and some of its streams would have flowed through the property, and these would have been the main source of water for the farm. A leivoor directed water from the river to a small dam north of the cellars. From here, the water would have driven the wheel and powered the mill. This was one of the oldest mills in South Africa, dating back to 1772. The mill and dam have long gone, but in 1997, archaeologists discovered part of the mill next to the river,  and plans are afoot to restore the dam and some of the leivore. Over the years, the farm had various owners and was further subdivided in 1965. At the time, 10% of all land being subdivided had to be set aside as public open space, which, in hindsight, was a visionary and very forward-thinking requirement.

Today, much of the greenbelts are located on what was Alphen Estate. The Diep river greenbelt runs from Southern Cross Drive (close to Rhodes Avenue) to Brommersvlei Road. The Alphen greenbelt then runs from Brommersvlei Road to Alphen Drive. The Alphen trail, the most popular of the trails  in the valley, starts at the parking lot on Alphen Drive and continues northwards along the Diep river. Demarcated paths on either side of the river run through mature tree plantations and open meadows.  In places, wooden bridges and boardwalks allow one to cross the river. The trail links with many of the other trails, making for a scenic network of walks. In total, there are 12 greenbelt walks in the valley that typically follow the various streams and rivers.

To be continued next week :-)

(Extracted from Cape Towns Liveable Urban Waterways report by City of Cape Town)

Comment on Facebook

What absolutely fantastic info. Woll be great to know who lived here and who farmed on the different places

Interesting

Wishing our followers and supporters a happy holiday season!

If you would like to contribute to the work of FoCVGB we are welcoming donations either via SnapScan or EFT, any amount is welcome.

Our bank details:

FNB Plumstead
Branch Code: 201 109
Account number: 6230 4683 429
Account Name: Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts

We are grateful for your support.
... See MoreSee Less

Wishing our followers and supporters a happy holiday season!

If you would like to contribute to the work of FoCVGB we are welcoming donations either via SnapScan or EFT, any amount is welcome. 

Our bank details:

FNB Plumstead
Branch Code: 201 109
Account number: 6230 4683 429
Account Name: Friends of the Constantia Valley Greenbelts

We are grateful for your support.
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