Forest boardwalk in the mushroom meander: Progress update

In August last year the GRBG announced the
commencement of a new Garden upgrade project: The
Forest Boardwalk for Wheelchair Access to the
Mushroom Meander
. A generous donation from the
Rowland and Leta Hill Trust
made it possible to ‘break
ground’ on this project and for the past nine months
Ken Gie and his team have been hard at work tackling
the mammoth task of building boardwalks, ramps and
railings across a tricky, irregular terrain.

In recent weeks regular visitors to the Meander have,
understandably, become curious as to when the Forest
Boardwalk will be complete and ready for use. The
current phase of the project is scheduled to be
completed by the end of July 2021. This phase
includes completing the construction of the boardwalk
and adding the necessary finishes so that it’s safe for
pedestrians and wheelchair users, as well as levelling
the surrounding pathways by flattening and
compacting the ground and removing obstacles such
as tree stumps.

Once this phase is done, the next phase will see the
construction team creating a wheelchair-accessible
route stretching from the Mushroom Meander to the
Medicinal Spiral
by levelling the pathway that
connects these two areas of the Garden. Another
donation from the Rowland and Leta Hill trust will help
finance this phase.

All of this work is being undertaken voluntarily by a
small team of dedicated craftsmen
who frequently
work after-hours and without lunch breaks. This
includes Ken, who is leading the project, and his
assistant, Fred Hennop, who is doing most of the
woodwork. They are joined twice-weekly by GRBG
staff members Jackson Nkampini and Bertie Jordaan.

The ultimate completion of the Boardwalk (i.e. all the
phases of construction) is subject to the availability of
funding. (Donations from the public are welcome.)
Until then, anyone entering and passing through the
Mushroom Meander does so at their own risk.

The Garden Route Botanical Garden thanks all
Members and visitors
for their continued patience
while we complete this big but important project.

A completed section of the Forest
Boardwalk – sanded down and varnished.