The University of Pretoria (UP) has once again been recognised by the South African Landscaping Institute, receiving three awards for campus landscaping. UP's Landscape Services Unit, part of the Department of Facilities Management, aims to create environmentally sustainable surroundings for students, staff, visitors and the general public. It is addressing national and international environmental issues and is improving and upgrading existing landscapes.
'At Landscape Services, we want to work with nature to recycle garden waste, introduce water-wise indigenous plants and save water by practising efficient and effective water use,' said unit manager Aubrey Matthews.
The following projects were awarded:
Compost and mulch production facility, Plaaswerf, LC de Villiers Sports Grounds (Double Gold in Environmental and Water Wise categories). Project Manager: Jacques Smit
Hartbeestspruit Rehabilitation Project (Double Silver in Environmental category). Project Manager: Jacques Smit
Administration Building Garden (Double Silver in Landscape and Water Wise categories). Project Manager: Johan Britz
The judges commented that the compost yard met all municipal requirements and holds sizeable ecological benefits as it decreases the amount of green waste sent to landfills. Material from UP campuses is composted on this site. 'This is an excellent blueprint for other large sites to follow…an inspiring project,' they said.
The Administration Building Garden is an indigenous water-wise garden that uses compost and mulch from UP's own composting yard to retain moisture and provide nutrient value. It was recognised for its design and mulching, and the judges commented that it would be worth entering again. The garden was designed to reflect elements of the building's architecture, thus enhancing the aesthetic appeal.
UP is currently rehabilitating Hartbeestspruit, with over 500 aquatic plants introduced to the wetland. The aim of the project is to take responsibility for storm water and its related pollutants by reducing downstream damage and pollution. The judges said sightings of new bird species was evidence of an increase in biodiversity, and that the dam was functioning well despite heavy downpours, showing good storm water dissipation. The frog and fish population has also increased, indicating that the rehabilitation project is bearing fruit.