Gardens, signs help save the beach

GOOD SIGNS: Gardens made using old water gear and inset signs promoting alcohol-free beaches. Pictures: SUPPLIED

This week, GO!&Express caught up with mom of six and long-time Nahoon resident, Wendy Miller, to discuss initiatives she has established in Ward 18 to mitigate drinking and littering on Nahoon Beach.

Last year, Miller set up signs at Nahoon Beach car park to stop public drinking and planted succulent gardens in the car park and surrounds to prevent littering.

Miller said she loves the sea, surfing and her community.

What inspired the idea for the ‘no alcohol’ signs and what do you hope the signs achieve?

Nahoon is such a lovely place, but when the weather is beautiful, unfortunately people bring alcohol, get drunk and trash the car parks and beaches. It creates a huge problem for our lifeguards and there have been some drownings linked to alcohol consumption.

The ill-discipline that generally comes with alcohol abuse, exacerbates problems that arise with overcrowded beaches and car parks.

So, I decided to have large signs made and placed strategically to create an awareness that it is against the law to drink alcohol on the beaches and in the car parks.

Several community members contacted me, and offered to assist financially, which covered the investment made into the signs.

A local sign writer and surfer assisted with discounted rates for the signs. There are municipal signs, but they get lost due to being small and hidden by overgrown bush.

I am hoping to create a safer environment for everyone.

If we demonstrate to others that we care and respect our neighbourhood, then others are more likely to reciprocate.

What inspired the red boat garden and the windsurfer garden and what do you hope the gardens will achieve? 

I was inspired after seeing the beauty that has been created in Gonubie by Elna and Henri Smit from the Gonubie Ratepayers Association.

I believe that creating something of beauty may also inspire the public to treat the area with more respect.

Describe the process you undertook. 

To put a few gardens together needs a lot of hard labour.

The red boat was abandoned in the driveway heading down to the lifesavers shack for a number of years.

I asked around to try to find the owner and when nobody came forward, I had it moved closer to the shack to start the process. EL Surf Lifesaving Club had the boat painted the beautiful red it now is and donated one of the signs.

Then, together with the car guard, they moved it onto the dune where we could fill it.

The plants were donated by members of the community and the municipal nursery. My own friendly gardener gives the boat gardens some attention every now and then, to keep them looking good, as do members of the community and our local car guards, David and Phineas.

What concerns would like to address next? 

I have quite a few more ideas to beautify the area.  My hope is that members of the community will look after their piece of land around their own homes and businesses.

I aim to create the thought to do instead of complaining.

What advice do you have for residents in other wards who want to contribute positively to their area? 

My advice would be to pull together as a community and encourage each other to make our town a more beautiful place to live in. It is possible.


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