Located in the heart of the threatened Swartkops River Estuary Our long term intention of more focussed, critical environmental education at Sumcay has been spurred into action by •the recent active involvement of passionate environmentalists on the management committee, •the well-publicised environmental threats from pollution and urbanisation to the Swartkops River estuary (one of SA’s most important), resulting in serious consequences for tourism, recreation, the economy and people who depend on it as a food source. We believe that a community Environment Education Centre will educate learners in care of our resources and make a significant contribution to the long term sustainability of the Swartkops River estuary.Environment Education Centre structure and designThe Centre has been planned with the help, endorsement and support of a wide range of consulted environmental educationalists and conservation bodies. Five specialised and equipped nodes (incorporating interactive activities and exhibits) leading off a central hall will complement the school syllabus viz.1. Water Systems 2. Sustainable Living3. Pollution4. Climate Change5. Fauna & FloraIn line with the main theme, “Effects of Urbanisation on the Environment”, a predominant feature will be a large (retractable) scale model of the Swartkops River and estuary illustrating visually for learners how a river in an urban setting can be under serious threat. Architects Balshaw and Fogarty (accredited Green Star SA) have designed the proposed Centre with an economical constraints and will reflect Karoo architecture, in keeping with its location.Within financial constraints, the Centre will be built as “green” as possible, and will boast solar panels, a wind turbine generator, water tanks, permaculture, etc. Included in the proposal is an essential, separate Admin Centre serving the whole campus. Job creation, staffing, infrastructure & managementA suitably qualified environmental educationalist will be appointed to market the Centre to schools and run appropriate programmes. To ensure financial viability, remuneration after year 1 will be on a commission basis. An advantage is that basic infrastructure e.g. water, electricity, etc., as well as management and ground staff, are already in place for the Camping Centre. Most visits will be day visits from local schools and other groups. Accommodation is available for residential workshops.
The design of the Environment Centre will consist of a main hall area and five separate pods where interactive learning can happen with smaller groups