On Saturday (4 May) we held our first workshop of the first-ever MVP Environmental Sculpture Competition in Swellendam and it was a huge success!
Our 20 competition finalists (from the local high schools) and a support team of MVP friends and family gathered in Masbiekers Valley’s new amphitheatre to explore the theme of Conservation and the Environment.
Intuition & Forest Conservation with Melissa – Morning Workshop
Melissa talked to the finalists about the importance of conservation and the environment. She opened up a new dialogue about how important it is to feel where we are in the world. She took them on a walk to the ‘heart’ of the Masbiekers Valley Project, a small pocket of healthy and well established indigenous forest. There they sat quietly and listened.
After exploring the natural forest, the finalists took a walk into some blue gum and wattle woods. They were asked to draw a comparison between a healthy eco-system and an impoverished one and reflect on this difference, the abundance of life versus the lack thereof.
Insects & Healthy Eco-systems with Gary & Paula from Grootbos – Afternoon Workshop
In the afternoon the two entomologists from Grootbos did a walk and talk about conservation and insects. They showed the finalists some insects they’d caught in the traps set up in the valley the evening before as well as some frogs they’d caught near Grootvadersbosch.
The students listened intently as Gary and Paula explained the crucial role that insects play in maintaining life on earth, making bugs critical to conservation.
Big Thank Yous
Thank you to the conservationists (the bug and tree specialists) who gave our awesome workshops. We all learnt so much and thoroughly enjoyed your workshops.
Thank you to Lily Upton from the Grootbos Foundation for arranging the team of entomologists and for coming through to attend the workshops. Also, a big thank you for the donation of indigenous trees from Grootbos!
Thanks to our friends and family for all the help with catering and organising the day: Steve and Win Hofmeyr, Kathy and Michael Dumbrell and other generous souls of Swellendam.
(PS. Like our MVP page 🙂