Anne Mearns

Director, Wilger Veld and Youth Conservation Club

For many years Anne Mearns has worked to improve the environment. In September 1982 she has established Wilger Veld and Youth Conservation Clubs in approximately 50 schools throughout South Africa.

From 1982 to 1997 more than 6 000 children have joined the Club, whose membership has since expanded to include branches in England and other countries in Africa. In 1989 Mearns has started a tree-planting project through which more than 5 300 trees have been planted to date. In the same year she contacted the Council of Benoni to rehabilitate the Bullfrog pan, which was filled with rubbish, at a cost of more than R5 million. The pan is now back to its normal status and 50 000 bullfrogs have been saved.

In 1990 she organised a Wetland Symposium for councils in Gauteng and in 1992 she began a community vegetable garden project in the townships. In 1996 Mearns wrote an environmental policy for the Greater Benoni City Council and in January 1997 she completed a management plan for two wetlands and later established the Greater Benoni Environmental Society.

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