- African Wild Dogs are the most endangered carnivore in South Africa.
- There are only 550 left in South Africa (down from +-6000 a few years ago.)
Build a Geoglyph within the Vredefort Dome World Heritage area to help save the African Painted Dog.
The Geoglyph will:
- Encourage tourism to the area.
- Create an income stream for African Painted Dog Conservation.
- Create awareness of the dire circumstances the African Painted Dogs face.
- Create employment.
- Generate organic fruit and vegetables.
- Educate the public re. African wildlife species currently endangered or threatened, i.e. Rhino, Elephant, Lion, African Painted Dog etc.
- Offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, a place to reconnect to nature, to be quiet, to be mindful, to meditate etc.
A Geoglyph is a large-scale motif made on the earth's surface, which is only viewable from high above. The world's oldest known Geoglyph (an enormous moose,) was created more than 6,000 years ago in the Ural Mountains of Russia. As far as I'm aware, there are only three geoglyphs in all of Africa. They are all situated within South Africa. The Painted Dog will be the 2nd largest Geoglyph in Africa, measuring roughly 180 by 80 meters. It will be constructed from an estimated 5000+ rocks dipped in a white paint mixture. This organic paint will be manufactured on-site with lime, salt and prickly pear cactus mucus.
The African Painted Dog (Lycaon pictus), also known as the Painted Wolf, Cape Hunting Dog or African Wild Dog is so-called because of the assorted colours and markings on the coats of the
dogs. No two dogs are alike. I am using symbolic Bushman symbols within the Geoglyph to imitate these markings. The Bushman were local residents in the Vredefort Dome area many, many years ago and there are still remains of Bushman drawings. The Bushmen had great admiration for the Painted Dogs and lived in close harmony with them. The Bushman symbols used in the Geoglyph will relate to their co-existence.
The Geoglyph will be constructed on the grounds of The Dog and Fig Craft Brewery and Restaurant. The completed project will boast the following:
- An education centre (an existing structure has already been allocated.)
- A walking path with designated educational info stops en-route. Educational tours will be hosted on-site. These tours will relay information about the painted dogs, endangered African animals, geoglyphs and information about the Vredefort Dome World Heritage area.
- An organic food forest.
- A meditation/wellness path.
- An ancient maze and a water fountain grid for kids.
- A curio/gift shop.
- A mountain bike route.
- Landart displays and workshops on-site.
Local experts were consulted to ensure the project leaves an environmentally friendly footprint. These include ornithologists, landscape architects, tour guides, geologists, architects, artists, conservationists, engineers and environmentalists. The impact of all additions to the site will be beneficial to the local Fauna and Flora.
The project will be partnered by the ChaZen Nature Conservation & Education Center, a local Painted Dog Breeding Center. The owner Joe Viljoen, a famous conservationist, heads the breeding centre closely assisted by his sons Micha and Zen. Joe has a passion for African wildlife and is an endless resource of information about endangered African animals. Joe leads many African Safaris for tourists from abroad and is regularly interviewed by international news channels like CNN. Chazen will head the on-site education centre, and visits to the Chazen Facilities will be available on request.
TOURISM & JOB CREATION
We believe the Geoglyph will substantially benefit tourism to the North West Province, Parys and the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Area.
At the outset, two permanent jobs will be created with a further 10 - 15 as the next phases of the project rollout.
We foresee the following jobs being created soon after rollout:
- The Geoglyph will require regular maintenance.
- The education centre needs to be manned.
- On-site tour leaders will be required.
- The curio shop will require a salesperson.
- The grounds will need to be maintained.
- The food forest will require staff.
Donated funds will go towards the cost of constructing the artwork (labour, materials, signage, transport, manufacture of the organic paint etc.) A permanent fundraising initiative will be implemented on-site to collect funds for the Chazen Nature Reserve, a local Painted Dog Breeding Centre and Wildlife Conservation Centre.
We have a budget available for your perusal on request. But in short, we require R50 000.00 to get this project off the ground.
The Geoglyph will be constructed by local Parys artist Deon TerBlanche who was also responsible for the acclaimed Yellowfish Public Art Sculpture in Parys. The project will collaborate with the world-famous land artist Anni Snyman, who is the artist responsible for the other Geoglyphs in South Africa. It will also be in partnership with the Site-Specific Land Art Organisation (www.sitespecific.org.za.)
As this is a substantial project, volunteers are invited to participate in the construction of this monumental artwork. Contact Deon to volunteer your services at [email protected]
A newspaper article about the project:
A beautiful movie about Painted Dogs and the challenges they face. (Only 7 min.)