Green Point Park and Biodiversity Garden

A guest post by Rosanne Stanway (Photos by D Kirkwood)

Since the Soccer World Cup ended in July 2010, many people have lost interest in the Green Point Stadium and surrounds. However, the area that underwent such extreme rejuvenation for football fans now also provides a beautiful spot for Cape Town outdoor lovers to spend an afternoon: The Green Point Park and Biodiversity Garden.


I visited on a Monday (it opened on the 20th December 2010) and was struck by its emptiness – all of this space and beauty and no one to utilise it? But a revisit on Saturday demonstrated that the public are starting to trickle in. A family set up a cricket game on the lawns, children and their parents exercised on the outdoor ‘green circuit’ machines, and couples wandered through the grounds looking at plants and spotting animal sculptures.

 


The biodiversity garden within the Park contains over 300 local Cape plant species, and is designed to be educational, inspirational and stimulating (see more about its planning and development here: http://marijkes-biodiversityblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/backtracking.html). Although it appears to be pitched at children of school-going age it is equally informative for adults.

 

The garden is separated into ‘People and Plants’, ‘Wetlands’ and ‘Discovering Biodiversity’. Beds are planted according to vegetation type, so you can see which plants typically grow in sandveld, renosterveld, mountain fynbos, coastal thicket etc. Cleverly, these sections are laid out in such a way that when the signs prompt you to look up, you can associate which of these vegetation types grows on the surrounding Signal Hill, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. They even have a lawn garden, so you can test the softness of various indigenous water wise grasses between your toes!


Educational boards throughout the garden are entertaining and clear, and provide useful information such as ‘dead logs are great homes for lizards and geckos’ and ‘how to keep a healthy pond in your garden to attract frogs’. Beaded animals and metal sculptures are cleverly tucked into the vegetation, my personal favourite are the moles, poking their heads out of the earth! If the Cape heat is overwhelming, there are picnic tables, benches, beautiful drinking fountains, and shady spots in which to sit and absorb the view of your surrounds, and the paths are wide enough to allow for wheelchair and pram access. Water bodies are dotted across the park, acting as a boundary to the golf course and drawing lots of birds to the area.

 


It’s a great spot to spend a morning. You can enter from the fan walk or through the west gate on the side of Mouille Point lighthouse. Recycling bins are placed at the main entry gates to the park, and security guards are present. Hours are 7am-7pm.

 

Visit www.stadiumcapetown.co.za for more details or phone +27 (0)21 430 7300 or +27 (0)21 417 0101. Park tours can be booked through the Stadium Visitor Centre.The Park tour costs about R35 per person. This is for the City to raise much-needed funds to maintain the Park. The tours leave at 10, 12 and 2, and there are official guides.

Directions to the Visitor Centre:

From the new raised Green Point traffic circle, take the turnoff closest to McDonald’s, and park near the site of the old stadium. Look for entrance C off Granger Bay Boulevard.


Rosie Stanway is a botanist, with a Masters degree in pollination biology from the University of Stellenbosch. She has worked in a wide range of environments, including the Peruvian Amazon, but is captivated by Cape fynbos and renosterveld. Apart from being passionate about plant conservation, another great love is cooking, and she is always on the lookout for new markets, ethical producers, and gardening projects in and around Cape Town.

 

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20 Responses to Green Point Park and Biodiversity Garden

  1. Shaun March 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Hi Rosie

    I’m trying to organise a botanist to assist with a “guest lecture demo” in the Green Point biodiversity park on Sat 12 March 2011. Would you be available or if not could yuu kindly recommend someone who could perhaps assist? Many thanks.

    Regards
    Shaun

  2. marilyn March 2, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    Shaun, make contact with me if the talk is still happening on the 12th. I would like to advertise it as part of my e-news article on the park

  3. Mike Langford March 3, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    Hi Ms. Stanway
    Thanks for an excellent post! Will be sure to visit the park & garden when in Cape town again towards the end of the year.
    I’m a Capetonian, also fascinated by fynbos, currently living in Cusco, Peru and promoting sustainable travel to the Peruvian Amazon via my company Tambopata Travel. I am also a photographer working with Gallo/Getty images – please visit my photo site mikeonlocation.com

  4. sam March 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

    Nice article Rosie :) Keen to check out the park soon!

  5. michelle lesch April 1, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    your garden is lovely.Could
    you please send me the names of the restios growing in the water.Thanks michelle

  6. Nanthini April 12, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    Hi Ms Stanway

    Are there any available work attachment programs at Green Point Park?

    Pls contact me by email.
    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Nanthini

  7. Stellenberg Gardens Nursery June 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm #

    Trying tomake a booking for a tour guide from City Landscapers to guide a group through the Biodiversity Garden on Tuesday 20th September 2011

    please someone answer me for a booking.
    Doreen Daubermann

  8. Ron June 20, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    Sounds like an interesting and education experience. Those beaded animals look really cute!

  9. ZA-EEMAH HARE July 15, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    HI, I JUST WANTED TO KNOW IF IT WILL BE POSSIBLE TO HOST MY WEDDING AT THE PARK?

  10. Zooper October 20, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Trying to find out when the childrens park area will be open to the public. It has been fenced off for a while now and there are no visible numbers to call to find out…..

  11. Pia Taylor October 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    @Ron: The beaded animals are awesome – fit in so well with the garden!

    @ZA-EEMAH HARE: unfortunately can’t help you with bookings. We’d suggest calling the Visitor Centre on +27 (0)21 417 0101

    @Zooper: We unfortunately don’t know what the status is with the childrens’ park area… the number we’ve used successfully before is: +27 (0)21 430 7300 or +27 (0)21 417 0101.

  12. Greeff Properties (@GreeffProps) July 6, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Green Point Park is open and it is not only a park but a biodiversity garden too :-) #CapeTown: http://t.co/QQpfjiAw

  13. shannon December 5, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Hi there i was hoping to have my daughters 1st birthday party at greenpoint park..will that be allowed and could i maybe bring a jumping castle?

  14. shannon December 5, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Hi there i’ve been trying to call you guys but cant get through. Could i maybe have your e mail address?

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