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Building at the Arboretum begins

Construction has begun at the Paarl Arboretum, where Drakenstein’s exciting new climate-smart river park is being established.

The construction of the new entrance is currently in progress, while work on the informal parking area should start later this month, increasing the parking capacity to accommodate approximately 100 to 130 cars.

On completion the Climate Smart River Park will feature a smart green classroom, a river cycling route, an outdoor amphitheatre and an eco-centre, all planned at the Arboretum in Paarl.

This is thanks to a generous contribution of R7,1 million by the City of Neumarkt in Germany.

But the biggest threat for this development is the ongoing as well as increasing, crime and vandalism which takes place daily at the Arboretum. The question is thus raised, how is the Drakenstein Municipality going to protect such a multi-million rand investment on completion?

According to the Municipality The Tourism and Business Institute of Southern Africa oversees the safeguarding of the Arboretum.

Planned by Drakenstein Municipality for the Paarl Arboretum – a 2,5 km-long park on the eastern bank of the Berg River in Paarl – the climate smart river park project will be developed over the next three years.

The 31-hectare Arboretum has almost 2 200 trees from six continents, shrubs and no fewer than 600 different species.

Currently in its planning phase, the climate smart river park project will include the installation of new gates and gateway features in the Arboretum, contemporary signage and new picnic furniture and toilets as well as planting more trees and undertaking landscaping improvements.

The eco-centre will be used for environmental education and raising awareness. The Arboretum’s new smart green classroom will offer interactive lessons on rainwater harvesting, grey water recycling, waste recycling, bio-digestion and solar energy.

The climate smart river park project will further include the development of an interactive mobile application as well as a website for the Arboretum.

It is being proposed that the new park include the upgrade of the pedestrian, cycling and service routes, including the riverfront walk.

The proposed project will also include toilets and soft landscape interventions to create an eco-friendly park over the three years.

Year one is mostly dedicated to planning the project and there will be some construction work taking place. Currently an informal parking area is being established next to the squash club and trees are being pruned.

In year two the paths, signage and eco-centre will be implemented.

In year three the technological aspects such as the website and an app will be implemented.

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