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The conclusion of Maropeng, now called Stone Park

Woohoo! We love finishing a project, what we love even more is finishing a project that everyone can enjoy.

Have you visited this place? Maropeng is beautiful, you have to get out there and enjoy it for yourself.

We recently completed our work at the the Cradle of Humankind. This historic world heritage site holds meaning to all of us, it’s the location where some of the oldest human remains have been found, which is why it’s been named the cradle of humankind.

Archaeologists believe this is where the first prehistoric hominids originate from.  

 

Maropeng’s background

Maropeng is the only World Heritage Site in Gauteng, and the local government has invested as much as R189 million to the infrastructure in this region in an attempt to boost the local geospatial tourism.

The 47 000-hectare site has been a well-loved tourism destination for some time, with the Sterkfontein Caves nearby (the location where “Mrs. Ples”, and “Little Foot”, dated 2.3 and 4.17 million years old, were first discovered), a wedding venue, a visitor’s area (an educational display) and the new plans, which entail a natural picnic and outdoor function venue, complete with professional lighting.

With the renewed goal of boosting the local economy through tourism, FSG was brought in to deliver a large-scale landscaping installation. The vision for the massive site was a picnic venue that would be used for any number of functions, including weddings. The end result had to be breathtaking while it still blends in with the natural arid landscape of the region.

FSG installs upgrades at Maropeng, creating Stone Park

We sent 30 dedicated staff members to work on this project.

Due to the sensitivity of the location, we had to implement every measure imaginable to ensure the local fauna and flora was not disturbed.

The entire perimeter that we were working within, had to be fenced. We also had to have an archaeologist do a site inspection before we touched anything, just to be sure we weren’t planting trees or pouring concrete over a historic finding.

In our previous blog, which was written about this project as a work in progress, we got as far as shaping the area, transporting topsoil from another area on the site to build a mound. We had also installed the irrigation and we were just about finished with fitting the lighting. The lighting would illuminate the stone circle of granite at night, making it a wonderful venue to use by day or night.

Since then, we’ve positioned the granite blocks, we’ve overseen the casting of the aggregate pathway, and prepared the ground for plants. Any plants we removed to be able to build the site, had to be carefully looked after and replanted once the space was ready.

Conservation is the highest priority on this job, that includes every indigenous plant, shrub, and the countless number of snakes that naturally occur here. Fortunately, no one was bitten, despite many encounters.

Finally, after we composted, added fertiliser, and topsoil, we were ready to commence with planting. We added plants that would blend with the natural flora in the area, keeping everything strictly indigenous. Lawn, trees, and flowering bushes each add their own element of grace to the site.

The end result

The large scale of the project, along with the sheer beauty that now exemplifies the site, makes it noteworthy. Not only is the end product breathtaking and sure to increase the number of visits to the site, it has also attracted some positive attention to both Stone Park and FSG. Our team’s dedication and hard work earned us a place in the spotlight at the recent SAGIC/SANA convention. We walked away with 3 Double Gold Awards and the trophy for “Best Landscape Construction with Design by others” Award.

 

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