Luzann Isaacs

Operational manager: Edith Stephens Wetlands Park

Luzann Isaacs believes in balance, whether it's splitting her time between stomping through wetlands in her wellies, sitting behind a desk trying to attract funders, or making time to engage with communities in breaks from her landscaping work. As operational manager at the Edith Stephens Wetlands Park on the Cape Flats, her job entails all these things. Isaacs studied nature conservation at the Cape Peninsula Technikon. Since her first job, working for a community group in Somerset West, she has known that bridging the gap between community and environment is what makes her tick. For Isaacs, caring for the community is just as important as caring for nature. In addition to managing a nature reserve that borders on poverty-stricken urban communities, among them Hanover Park and Gugulethu, she develops environmental awareness and skills development programmes targeted at the surrounding communities. "Developing environmental awareness in a community can only be done through conversation, debate and building one-on-one relationships with people,� she says. � Faranaaz Parker

Website: openafrica.org/participant/ edith-stephens-wetland-park YouTube: Luzann Isaacs speaks