Construction of new uMhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve boardwalk underway: Here’s how you can help
Durban - Construction of the first stretch of the new uMhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve boardwalk officially got underway earlier this month. The project is led by the uMhlanga UIP and was approved by the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (KZN EDTEA), and now residents can assist in the project and get to be a part of history.
This community-focused and funded project aims to enhance the area’s environmental integrity and provide a lovely ‘walk-in-the-trees’ experience for locals and tourists to enjoy. The project’s initial funding of R345 000 was raised by community-minded stakeholders, businesses and contributors. This amount will see the first 81m of the 1km long, 1,8m wide boardwalk built by mid-December.
The UIP is rallying local businesses, residents, visitors and the public at large to get behind this wonderful addition to uMhlanga Rocks experience and make donations to realise the vision for everyone’s enjoyment.
uMhlanga UIP's Brian Wright said a further R5.7m is needed to complete the boardwalk.
"Donors can rest assured that funds will be strictly governed and disbursed by the uMhlanga UIP non-profit company which has a long and proud tradition of serving uMhlanga Rocks," Wright said.
Made from recycled plastic, the raised, wheelchair-friendly boardwalk’s design will provide viewing decks overlooking the beach and lagoon and formalized access points from the boardwalk onto the beach. The infrastructure will be managed and maintained by the uMhlanga UIP.
"Once the boardwalk is complete, visitors will safely be able to experience the amazing coastal forest life while having negligible environmental impact on this incredible natural asset," Wright said.
He added that other important benefits of the boardwalk include preventing further frontal dune damage allowing for natural regeneration of degraded areas, unlocking tourism and employment opportunities and relieving congestion on the promenade.
"The long-term plan is to build an environmental education centre to host nature-based activities including guided walks, canoeing, a bird hide and children’s activities," Wright said.
He said this initiative would improve and enhance this fantastic natural space which is right here on our doorstep while allowing for an amazing experience for the public.
"We call on all businesses and the community to pledge their support with donations to help us complete it and further enhance the uMhlanga experience," he said.
For more information on how to help, residents can contact 031 561 2496 or [email protected]