The Rainwater Harvesting Garden

Planned, approved and installed over 2012-2013 this ground-breaking blue-green engineering project forms the newest section of the Botanical Garden.

Constructed around the new Mining Industry Study Centre of the School of Engineering, a precedent has been set by the University for the manner in which the landscape is no longer mere beautification, but serves an essentially functional and value adding instrument in solving the many challenges that the urban environment faces, working toward ‘resilient city’ principles.

This garden function as a rainwater harvesting and irrigation water treatment plant for the entire Botanical Garden, and forms an integral part of it's sophisticated automatic irrigation system.

Hosting over 160 species of aquatic and mesophyllic plant species, including a representative sample of our peerless tropical African Encephalartos collection this space has been designed to welcome visitors, and has become a firm favourite for students.

The project has attracted an enormous amount of attention and was listed as a finalist in the category “Excellence in Building” in the International Sustainable Campus Network’s annual ISCN awards in 2014.

The project has been presented to the California Horticultural Society in California by invitation, and a prominent member of the land art group, Site Works, is currently conducting a year long photographic land art project using this space and the Genius Loci it provides.

The technical aspects of the project were such that the installation of the liner now forms part of Firestone Company’s international training programme for installers of the product used on the pond system.

The landscape has recently achieved recognition in two coveted categories in the Institute for Landscape Architecture in South Africa (ILASA) Awards of Excellence 2015 (this is held biannually). The certificates are attached below.

The project was featured in five popular articles in 2013-2014, of which three were front page spreads.

Please feel free to download the attached articles on the project, shared with kind permission of the authors and editors of the respective magazines in which they appear, and a copy of the talk given by the senior Curator of the Botanical Garden to the California Horticultural Society in 2014.


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