The public open space and nature reserve portfolio arose because of the concern that our POS were fast diminishing. Prof Richard Cowling FOSTER in collaboration with L M Kruger presented the St Francis Municipality with a management plan to take care of the POS in the greater St Francis and Cape St Francis areas, known as SCOSS.
SCOSS – St Francis Coastal Open Space System enjoys representation of all the environmental organizations in the area. The aim of SCOSS was to identify and create 5 nature reserve areas surrounding Cape St Francis under FOSTER and one in the St Francis Bay area under the St Francis Kromme Enviro-Trust.
The aim was to protect the unique fauna and flora of these areas for future generations.
A St Francis Bay Nature Reserve plan of about 64 hectares was submitted to the Kouga Municipality. This plan was approved and we are awaiting promulgation, which can only take place once the lengthy process of title deed registration is complete.
This will link the POS along the coast of St Francis Bay from the border of Cape St Francis Reserve to the Kromme River.
The final promulgation of the nature area at the end of St Francis Drive is still with the province and is held up by the municipality not having funds to enable the transfer of the erven concerned. Here we must pay tribute to the work of the late Des Green.
Romazini Valley is a public open space between Romazini Road and Tom Brown Boulevard. It also serves as a home for the Cape Clawless Otter and for Spotted Eagle Owl. The Two Harbours Walk passes over it at its beach section. The homeowners overlooking the valley have an ongoing project involving the eradication of invader plants in the Romazini Valley. The St Francis Kromme Enviro-Trust got involved at the request of this group of people to supply financial support.
These gardens are one of the TREASURES of St Francis Bay and well worth a visit.
One can wander along the paths or take a picnic and just enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
They are situated in Harbour Rd (off St Francis Drive), as you travel down towards the sea they are on your right hand side.
The gardens are situated on what was once a sand dune and owe their beginnings to Colin Hall who undertook the mammoth task of converting Public Open Space with the permission of the local municipality into these magnificent gardens.
There are a number of paths leading through the garden with plenty of benches on which to rest or simply sit and take in the tranquil surroundings and in some cases, spectacular views. There is also a seasonal stream that wanders through.
The gardens are a good place for bird watching. The majority of the plants are indigenous and attract a wide range of birds and butterflies. During the rainy season when the stream is flowing the arum lilies and reeds provide nesting material and a suitable habitat for many bird species and frogs. The frogs can be heard all day and night.
At night the owls, porcupines and otters also sometimes visit the garden and leave their calling cards.
The upkeep of the Community Garden is the responsibility of the St Francis Kromme Enviro-Trust. They are assisted in this task by staff from St Francis Links, a group of volunteers, some of the adjacent homeowners, and the faithful crew from the municipality who regularly remove the piles of cuttings. The Trust also provides financial assistance when necessary.
How the Community Gardens came to be
During the early 1980’s Colin Hall conceived the idea to convert the Public Open Space at the end of Harbour Road into an indigenous public garden.
Due to the lack of funds Colin financed this project and the beautiful Community Garden was born. When his sponsorship finally ended there were still no public funds available. The St Francis Kromme Enviro-Trust stepped in and took over the upkeep of the garden.