Renosterveld: Building a Learning Hub
- By: Dr Odette Curtis-Scott
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/renosterveld
Help save this Critically Endangered habitat called Renosterveld: With your support, we’re developing a conservation learning hub for school children.
STORY – OVERVIEW:
Renosterveld is a unique and diverse habitat found only in South Africa. Today, only 5% of Renosterveld found in the Overberg remains, rendering it Critically Endangered. Habitat degradation and conversion for agriculture have led to vast losses.
In the Western Cape of South Africa, the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust (ORCT) works to protect the remaining Renosterveld. The ORCT is a non-profit organisation and a public benefit organisation.
Renosterveld is translated as ‘rhino veld’. It may be on the verge of extinction, but it’s one of the RICHEST ecosystems in the world – due to its extraordinary plant diversity. It is also the richest bulb habitat on Earth.
You’ll find part of the largest, most connected stretch of Renosterveld left on the planet at our Renosterveld Reserve, called Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve. The reserve was bought by WWF South Africa, and we manage and protect it.
HOW YOU CAN HELP (AND WHAT YOU GET):
Through a crowdfunding campaign in 2014, we converted the old farmhouse at Haarwegskloof into a student research center. Dozens of Doctorate and Masters’ students have undertaken their Renosterveld research here.
NOW we want to convert an old shed into a learning hub – mostly aimed at school children.
The aim? To teach young children NOT ONLY about Renosterveld, but about threatened ecosystems and wildlife around the world. It’s a space to be reminded that WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT NATURE!
We’ll be developing Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve in 3 phases:
Phase 1: Turn the old shed on the reserve into a learning space. It will become a ‘common room’ for scholars and under-graduate students. It’ll be a place to teach and learn. We’ll include a kitchen area to cater for visiting groups.
Phase 2: Turn a small room on the reserve into a living space for a caretaker. This person will live on the reserve and host visiting groups.
Phase 3: Create an accommodation unit for 12 beds for visiting children and students. The reserve is a bit off the beaten track. So we must have appropriate accommodation here so visiting groups can experience this incredible and unique nature.
WHAT YOU GET: (Select a perk)
Branded material shopping bag:
For a donation of R1000, you get an ORCT-branded material bag (these are ideal for shopping).
Bottle of Sijnn wine:
Donate R5000 and you’ll get a bottle of Sijnn Red 2011 (you must be 18 years of age or older to claim your perk).
Stayover in our Guesthouse:
Stay for 1 night in our Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Reserve Self-Catering Accommodation (for 2 people). (It’s subject to availability).
Guesthouse stay and our new Field Guide:
You get the FIRST and most complete Renosterveld Field Guide ever written (due date for publishing: July 2020), and stay for 1 night in our Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Self-Catering Accommodation.
The person who donates the most:
You get the FIRST and most complete Renosterveld Field Guide ever written (due date for publishing: July 2020), and stay for 2 nights in our Haarwegskloof Renosterveld Self-Catering Accommodation. Also enjoy a lunch for 2 at Sijnn Wines (charcuterie platter), a bottle of Sijnn Red 2011, a wine tasting, and Renosterveld trail walk.
- Dec 11, 2019 - R 5 010.00
This donation is in loving memory of our son Stephen Cousins who loved and was dedicated to preserving the Renosterveld" - Arthur & Averil Cousins
- Dec 11, 2019 - USD $ 106.50
- "Good luck!" - Herbert Raffaele
- Dec 09, 2019 - USD $ 71.94
- "Haarwegskloof is a great place to be - now it wil become a great place for learners to experience nature! Thank you so much, Odette and all for the great work! " - Ute Schmiedel
- Dec 06, 2019 - USD $ 14.34
- "I strongly support this important project, and hope you manage to raise all the funds you need." - Anonymous
- Dec 05, 2019 - R 1 028.20
- "Very happy to support the crucial work of the OLCT" - Robert McKenzie
- Dec 05, 2019 - USD $ 108.46
- "How can we not donate to a cause such a this? Renosterveld has a special place in our hearts. Keep up the good work, Odette!" - Cornelia and Rainer Krug
- Dec 03, 2019 - R 1 015.00
- "I am passionate about the Fynbos, and am keen to learn more about Renosterbos and conserve it for future generations. All the best of luck." - Linden Morris
- Nov 25, 2019 - R 10 010.00
This is an amazing cause which we are so happy to support!" - Cathryn & Judith
- Nov 22, 2019 - R 1 522.50
- "Woof,woof,woof!" - Gunner, Ranger and Rafa
- Nov 22, 2019 - R 514.10
- "Wishing you all the best, Dr Curtis :)" - The Sweets
- Nov 21, 2019 - R 500.00
- "Good luck guys. I really would love to visit one day soon. " - Stuart Prior
- Nov 19, 2019 - R 1 010.00
It is an honour to be associated with ORCT. Keep up the good work, Odette" - Amelia Genis
- Nov 16, 2019 - R 514.10
- "Love my NPO" - Odette
- Nov 15, 2019 - R 1 015.00
- "Your consistency is amazing!" - Nic Bladen
- Nov 15, 2019 - R 205.64
- "All the best on your campaign Odette!" - LoveGreen
Donations to dateR 321 772.94
Fundraising targetR 700 000.00
Funds raised offlineR 295 010.00 Donate
Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust
One of the greatest threats to biodiversity across the globe is habitat loss and fragmentation. The likelihood of additional loss in the remaining islands of diversity is further exacerbated by poor management within the remnants and the surrounding matrix.
In the southernmost region of Africa, we find one of the most overlooked, under-appreciated biodiversity hotspots found within Mediterranean ecosystems globally: Renosterveld. This diverse and severely threatened habitat is found within the World’s smallest Plant Kingdom: The Cape Floristic Region found in South Africa (most renowned for its showy Fynbos and less so for its Renosterveld which happens to be the richest geophyte habitat on the planet).
I established the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust (ORCT) in 2012, with the aim to ultimately conserve and rehabilitate the remaining 5% of this incredible ecosystem within the Overberg through pioneering a unique programme based on working closely with farmers, conservation partners, ecologists, students, and children. We aim to create awareness and excitement around the plight of Renosterveld, particularly amongst those communities and individuals who may have an influence over its future.