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New green classroom for Intaka Eco-Centre

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Date 05 April 2017
Author Liesel

New green classroom for Intaka Eco-Centre

 

 

Just over two years  after opening, Century City’s Intaka Island Environmental Education Centre is expanding  to meet the burgeoning demand for its facilities.

At the heart of Century City, Intaka Island is a  unique, multi-purpose wetland, which is  home to 231 species of indigenous plants, including 24 red data species, as well as 120 bird species, and has an internationally recognized heronry.

 

A multi-functional Environmental Education Centre was built in 2010 to enable it to fulfil its potential as an eco-education destination. Able to  accommodate groups of up to 75 at any one time, the initial facilities included an assembly area, educational activity centre, a reception and ablution facilities.

 

Eco-Centre Co-ordinator, Leandri  van der Vyver,  said the popularity of the Centre had exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations and demand was continuing to grow exponentially.

 

“In 2011, in our first  year of operation, we hosted 13 321 visitors. In 2012 this grew to 19 387 and in the first six months of this year, we hosted 13 323 visitors against just over 8000 for the comparative period last year.”

 

The Centre was originally planned as  a multi-purpose venue - to provide classroom facilities to host  educational programmes and to provide facilities that can be let out to help cover the costs of the educational programmes so that the centre can become self-sustainable.

“The success of the educational programmes is tremendous but has resulted in less and less venue hire opportunities to cross subsidise the running costs of the centre which has necessitated  the construction of a second classroom facility.”

She said that as  with the original structure, the Intaka Island Environmental Trust, which has PBO status, has secured significant material sponsorships and all professionals had given of their time and services pro bono for the new classroom now under construction.

“We are also looking for corporate sponsor/s to help cover the hard cost of the development which are around R300 000.”

The new “green” classroom facility has been built out of energy efficient materials and will serve to showcase .green energy alternatives, says Alan Liebenberg, Century City’s Environmental & Amenities Manager.

“In fact we are aiming to have it completely off the Grid and powered entirely by solar panels and wind turbines.”