From the Hide
After some fairly good
rains, the water level has improved and bird watching is
fairly rewarding at the moment. I was reading the August
2001 newsletter recently and noted that in July of that
year, we had heavy rains and the entire vlei flooded. I
wrote that I had been unable to even reach the bird hide
until mid July as the water level rose over the boardwalk,
but once I could get there, the bird life was wonderful. We
haven't had rain like that since that year unfortunately,
but let's hope these dry winters don't go on forever!
One of our members has begun bird ringing in Rietvlei. Theo
Nel is an experienced and qualified ringer and would welcome
any visitors or helpers. He rings one Saturday morning each
month and for further details you can contact him on
552-5495 after hours.
Our Education Centre is
proving a satisfactory venue for our evening talks, although
August's talk was not as well attended as the previous ones.
We have a highly qualified speaker for September and urge
all our members to come and hear Dr. Jo Barnes, who is a
Lecturer in Epidemiology and Community Health at the Faculty
of Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University. Dr. Barnes
has a very special interest in rivers and the state of their
health. Almost none of Cape Town rivers can be regarded as
healthy nowdays, so we look forward to hearing what Dr.
Barnes can tell us - particularly about our Diep River.
Date: Tuesday 14th September 2004
Time: 7.30 for 8p.m.
Venue: Rietvlei Education Centre, off Pentz Drive, Table
Topic: 'Healthy Rivers' by Dr. Jo Barnes
Enquiries: Margaret on 557-4990
Please note that this talk will take place on a Tuesday and
not on the usual Thursday.
As our members are now aware, the approval of the upgrade of
the existing Wastewater Treatment Works was granted last
year and a meeting was recently held to initiate the
establishment of the EMC. The Record of Decision requires
that an EMC be formed. The initial meeting including
establishing the Terms of Reference, an overview of the
Environmental Management Plan and a history of the entire
process from 2000 to 2003. The upgrade will not be totally
finished before 2008 and the Committee will meet every six
weeks until completion. Friends of Rietvlei are represented
on the EMC as we need to be involved in all matters
Another development in
which the Friends were involved was the rezoning and
application for housing on the Rietvlei Farm off Blaauwberg
Road. This application has also been approved, though scaled
down in size. The Draft Environmental Management Plan is
being finalised and provides for an Environmental Management
Team. This team would not have formal meetings, but would be
available for consultation during strategic phases of the
construction and give environmental input when required.
Our next Open Day will
be held on the third Saturday of September - 18th. You are
all asked to make a special effort to attend as we have an
interesting program for you where you can make a valuable
contribution. The Rietvlei Education Centre will be open
from 09h00 to 12h00. At 10h00 we will do a presentation on
the Adopt-a Beach program. Thereafter we would like all
members to join us in celebrating spring by sharing
refreshments together. Please could each family bring a
plate of eats and the tea/coffee/juice will be available
from our kitchen. Its beautiful down at Rietvlei at this
time of year and it will be great to sit on our veranda and
chat about Rietvlei, watch the birds around us and enjoy the
"Adopt-a-Beach" means deciding to look after a piece of our
coastline as part of a group and finding out more about the
area while enjoying it; then using the information gathered
to improve and maintain the area. Within the Rietvlei
Wetland Reserve we have two sections of coastline - the
stretch between Dolphin Beach and Sunset Beach, and the
mouth of the Milnerton Lagoon between Lagoon Gate and
Woodbridge Island. As part of the program we have been
supplied with a "trommel" full of interesting equipment and
information. Please come and help us unpack this on Saturday
18 September and lets start our adoption process. See you
there!!! Enquiries: Pat Titmuss on 557 3748(h)
Any members wanting to
donate bird books, flower or insect guides to our Centre?
Also unwanted tablecloths (Large size!). We are also
appealing for donations to sponsor the purchase of field
guides. Ideally we would like West Coast flower guide books.
Please contact Pat on 557-3748 (after hours).
|This newsletter comes to you with the kind
assistance of Caltex.