In honour of ‘World Environment Day’, Clanwilliam saw the unveiling of phase two of the ChangeMakersHUB ‘Clanwilliam Legacy Garden’. It included the incubation and planting of 2,500 spekboom plants, the largest carbon sequestering plant in the world and, in that, the ‘greening’ of the town square of the seventh oldest town in South Africa.
Attended by representatives from local government and community members, it heralded an important milestone in the overarching ‘Impact Accelerator Programme’.
“We have such gratitude towards ChangeMakersHUB for taking the initiative and transforming this space into a beacon of hope. Together we can make a difference. We support collaborations with organisations such as ChangeMakersHUB 150%, and encourage all those wanting to assist and collaborate, for the betterment of our town and region,” says Dawid Adonis, Municipal Manager, Cederberg Municipality.
A pilot changemaking project, it has as its core focus to provide residents of Clanwilliam with the invaluable opportunity to come together and effect far-reaching beneficial change for themselves and generations to come.
“Our focus is on the development of the circular economy,” says Michelle Korevaar, founder of ChangeMakersHUB and driver behind this project. “Our goal – a pilot changemaking project capable of creating significant and sustainable value, impacting not only the environment but so too job creation and the economic growth of the community. And, in that, the formulation of a blueprint – easily scalable and able to be shared and implemented across other deserving communities.”
“In the history of Clanwilliam, today is a day of remembering and pioneering – and of coming together, with all our differences, to share the same vision. This project has opened our eyes to new ways, new means, and new skills – for the betterment of all, including our children. Our children have hope and we now have a way forward,” says Ward Councillor Maxwell Heins.
Launched in July 2021, its first phase – the ‘Clanwilliam EcoBrick Challenge’ called on all ChangeMakers across sectors, to become active citizens for the betterment of all by turning harmful plastic waste into EcoBricks. This, to address the waste issue facing our world and communities whilst simultaneously creating a community driven movement for change within the Clanwilliam area.
The symbolisation of the circles and ripple effect of the garden makes way for Phase 3’s (see the next ripple) five food garden boxes and accompanying park benches – all constructed entirely from EcoBricks, repurposed from thousands of litres of non-recyclable plastic.
“Not only does this project bring with it the opportunity to unite community members in a single cause close to all their hearts – i.e., the upliftment and betterment of their community but it also has a very real and tangible economic benefit,” continues Korevaar.
As the ‘first’ of its kind, organisers and local stakeholders are confident that the ‘Clanwilliam ChangeMakers Legacy Garden’ will become a landmark and place of interest leading to an increase in much-needed tourism opportunities and revenue.
“This ‘Legacy Garden’ is an inclusive space built for the community BY the community,” continues Korevaar. “It is an important reminder and indication of the role that each citizen can play in ‘growing’ a better tomorrow.”
Says Thomas Waldeck, Ward Councillor, Wupperthal: “The spekboom has brought us together – creating a place for rest and meditation. During difficult times, we can learn from the spekboom – to never underestimate or undervalue the small things in life and to make the most of what we have every day, sharing and growing collectively.”
A Legacy Wall has been constructed to serve as a living tribute to a time in history we must never forget. Donations can be made – via dedication plaques; providing an opportunity to individuals, family and businesses alike to be the ChangeMakers needed to fulfil the potential of this project.
The Western Cape’s Cederberg region is fraught with challenges, exacerbated by the looming socio-economic issues it faces post-Covid. “Through the creation of strategic collaborations and bridging the divide between real in-practice sustainability, food security and climate change, we aim to empower community members to learn, grow and build futures for themselves,” says Korevaar.
Says Master of Ceremonies, Pastor Jan Oosthuizen of the Harvester Reformational Church, Olifantsriviervallei, “We can’t keep the municipality accountable from a distance as spectators, we keep them accountable by working together towards sustainable solutions.”
The overwhelming sentiment expressed by community members was one of meaning and inspiration. “It is an honour to be part of this opening. As a young man, it is inspiring to see what can be possible and that there is no excuse. Where there is a will, there is most definitely a way,” Leigh Kordom, author and entrepreneur, resident of Clanwilliam and youth leader.
“Collaboration is crucial for development. The Cederberg Municipality, and its people, are fortunate to have individuals who are unapologetic about effecting major change. ChangemakersHUB played the most important role in the development of the ‘Clanwilliam Changemakers Legacy Garden’ – uniting people from all walks of life focused on the same objective, that of taking care of our much-neglected circular economy,” says Bradley Zass, member of Cederberg Municipality and primary liaison with ChangemakersHUB.
The project blueprint, together with its learnings and ongoing research, will see Korevaar and her team execute similarly across the areas of Lamberts Bay, Elands Bay, Citrusdal and Rondegat in line with ChangeMakersHUB’s 2030 Impact Mission.
To find out more about how to become a ChangeMaker, or to become involved in any current or upcoming projects, please www.changemakershub.org
Says Korevaar, “Society, and the world at large, is facing unprecedented need. For so many wanting to make a difference, but not sure how – please contact us. Any, and every, contribution will go a long way in helping us deliver the greatest impact possible.”
To view the day’s proceedings, please click here.