On 26 February 2020 the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) officially opened its new EWT Conservation Campus. For nearly a decade the EWT has been dreaming, planning and deliberating a ‘forever home’ and this year they could finally move into it. The campus will provide them with a permanent base from which they can further conduct their conservation efforts. Dirk Ackermann, chairperson of the EWT board and honorary lifetime EWT member, Clive Walker, led the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Conservation is the word
The new EWT Conservation Campus is situated in Glen Austin AH, Midrand. The campus is built on a 6ha park with a protected wetland system running through it. This area is well known for its giant bullfrogs and the EWT will focus on the conservation of this species in urban areas. The new conservation hub will not only be a home for staff members but it will also be a refuge for creatures great and small. On the day of the launch guests were invited to see the Conservation Campus. The EWT staff also showcased the various projects they are currently running or will be running in the future.
A green economy
According to Yolan Friedmann, CEO of EWT, the location is ideal because it is a world of wildlife in the heart of the city. “It will always be a green lung and economy in the centre of an urban area where friends and visitors are always welcome”, she says. “The centrehas large open spaces where children will be educated about environmental issues. We also want to provide training and become a service provider for conservation and environmental skills development in Gauteng.”
The campus will also provide much-needed storage space for equipment such as the crates that are used for transporting wild dogs and cheetahs. There are also spacious kennels to house all the EWT working dogs when they are not out in the field tracking poachers. These canines are trained to track rhino horns, ivory and ammunition. For more information, visit www.ewt.org.za. –Yolandé Roodt, AgriOrbit