Twin Treasures: Wetland and Grassland Celebration in South Africa

Twin Treasures Day in South Africa
Archie, a traveling Whooping Crane plush toy (shown in the background), joined Steven and Ursula at the Twin Treasures Day celebration. Archie travels to communities in South Africa and around the world to illustrate the connections between our global conservation programs.

In February we gathered to celebrate our annual Twin Treasures Day in the Highveld area of Wakkerstroom, South Africa. The term “Twin Treasures” symbolizes the grasslands and wetlands that support three species of cranes – Blue, Grey Crowned, and Wattled Cranes – and other important wildlife species found in this area. This event is very special to us as it is only celebrated in South Africa’s Mpumalanga Province.

I participated in the event with my colleague Ursula Franke, International Crane Foundation/Endangered Wildlife Trust Highveld Regional Coordinator. We engaged with the community around crane activities for the Highveld area. Participating in events like this also gives us the opportunity to engage with other local community members and demonstrate our work for cranes and their habitats. The Member of the Executive Council of the Department of Agriculture Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs of Mpumalanga was the guest of honor for the celebration.

The day started with a cleaning campaign within Wakkerstroom and student activities at the local Chrissiesmeer wetland (click here to learn more about the Chrissiesmeer Protected Environment, South Africa’s largest protected area). More than 100 students from Wakkerstroom and surrounding areas joined us to celebrate the day with about 500 members of the community. We also had displays for different community structures and organizations – all under the theme of celebrating wetlands and grasslands. This annual festival brings people together to celebrate our natural resources – treasures that support both cranes and our communities.

Steven SegangStory submitted by Steven Segang, International Crane Foundation/Endangered Wildlife Trust Highveld Community Projects Officer. Click here to learn more about our work in Sub-saharan Africa.