Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter July 2005
RAINFALL, BIRDLIFE AND OTHER MATTERS
July is nearly over and Rietvlei is looking amazing. Arum lilies are coming into flower and flamingos are everywhere. As I am writing this it is raining again after 3 weeks of the most wonderful weather and it won’t be long before spring is here with its display of flowers. The dam levels are up on this time last year ( now over 6I%) but it is to be hoped that the good water-saving habits developed during this past summer will persist into next summer and beyond. The mid-winter CWAC count ( water bird census) was held on 15 July. Unfortunately only a couple of members of the public assisted the Rietvlei conservation staff. However the good weather made it a beautiful day out on the vlei. All the recent rain has had an impact on the stormwater flowing into Rietvlei and the Lagoon. Those driving past will have noted the channel clearing that the City engineers have done. Pressure is being put on them to remove the piles of reeds, silt and litter that have been left next to the channels. If not removed, these piles add to the berming up of the banks. It is preferable to have wide, shallow, meandering channels than deep dongas.
 
OPEN DAY
Our Open Day was held on Sunday 5th June to coincide with World Environment Day. We enjoyed a chat over some tea and cake before setting off on a walk to the bird hide. The next Open Day is planned for Sunday 7th August, meeting at 2.30pm for a walk starting at 3pm. Bring friends & family to our education centre to read, chat and look … please come, all are most welcome!!!! If you don’t have your own binoculars, the Education Centre has some for you to borrow.
 
CAPE FLATS NATURE PROJECT
Our last evening talk consisted of a talk and a video showing the work that is being done on the Cape Flats. Following on from this, Julie from Cape Splendour Tours has offered to run a day tour on Saturday 30 July to see at first hand what is being done. The details of this are in her e-mail on the last page of this newsletter.
 
NEXT EVENING TALK …… Everyone welcome!
Date: Thursday 18th August 2005
Time: 7.30 p.m. for 8.00 p.m.
Venue: Rietvlei Education Centre, behind MAC Clubhouse, off Pentz Drive
Speaker: Ken Botes
Topic: Whales of our coast and their protection
Enquiries: Pauline 557 6920 a/h or 464 4748 o/h
Whale season has begun, and they are being spotted along the coastline. Bring details of your sightings to the evening talk. What and where have you spotted so far??
  
ADOPT-A-BEACH
We are planning a beach cleanup on Saturday 17 September from 9am to 11 am to support International Coastal Cleanup Week running from 12th to 17th September 2005. More details will appear in the August newsletter but it is intended to follow the cleanup with a picnic on the beach. Please diarise the date now. You can be part of an international event!
 
MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL
For members paying an annual subscription please pay now. The new financial year started on 1 April 2005 so your subs are now overdue. Subs are only R40 for Ordinary members, R50 for Family members or R 200 for a 10 year membership. You can send a cheque and your details to our post box address or do a direct deposit to ABSA account no 712217049 (Table View branch) and email the details to us. Alternatively you may pay at the evening talk. Your subs keep this newsletter going as well as contribute in many ways to the conservation of Rietvlei. Try to encourage friends and neighbours especially in the Rietvlei area to join Friends of Rietvlei. It is vital that we have a large active membership so that Rietvlei can be preserved to give pleasure in the heart of the hectic development that is going on in the Table View area.
This is the last reminder before the membership list is updated … so if you wish to remain on the list and continue to receive the newsletter … and retain the privilege of free admission to Rietvlei … please renew your membership.
 
COMMITTEE MATTERS
If there is anyone out there who is free during weekdays to become involved in conservation matters, someone is needed to attend meetings of the Potsdam Wastewater Treatment Works Environment Liaison Committee meetings on behalf of Friends of Rietvlei. Meetings are usually held on Tuesdays at 10am, and there is generally one every two months. At a recent meeting of the Potsdam ELC it was announced that the initial mechanical contract has been delayed by over six months due to disputes over the City’s tender process. New building developments have been approved in the catchment area based on the fact that additional capacity would be available by Jan 2006. New houses, more sewage, no space at the treatment works….. equals bad quality effluent going into our vlei and estuary. A very serious situation could arise next year.
A representative is also needed for the Parklands Env. Liaison Comm. and the Milnerton Racecourse/Royal ascot ELC. Both Parklands and Royal Ascot involve areas to be conserved that contribute to the overall “conservation estate” of Cape Town. You don’t need any specific expertise just an overall interest in seeing that areas are conserved for future generations. Contact Pauline (5576920 a/h or 464 4748 o/h) if you are interested in becoming involved in this way. If you don’t help who will??
 
EDUCATION CENTRE
Many thanks are due to those who helped with the work party sorting out the resources in the Education Centre. After much shuffling of papers and magazines from pile to pile and much bending and stretching to place the resources everything is now much more accessible. Much amazement was also caused when reading through National Geographic magazines dating back to 1959 and 1960. Also found were original pamphlets and photos of past Golf days, a river clean-up, and arbour day plantings.
If you know of any school groups that want to visit Rietvlei please get them to contact the conservators on tel 5501086 or rietvleistudents@capetown.gov.za
Please feel free to contact us on any matter. Our e-mail address is at the top of this newsletter as is our website address if you want additional information or to read past newsletters.
 
Tour of the Cape Flats Wetland Parks
Following the fascinating presentation a while ago by Tracy Goldman on the Wetland Parks in the Cape Flats, I have compiled an itinerary of an Educational Tour of the three Wetland areas on the Cape Flats. I have room for 6 in my VW Microbus as Zwia will be guiding us. I have estimated a nominal cost of R30 per head to cover my costs.
If some people would like to follow us in their own cars they are welcome. If there are a lot of folk who would like to be driven, I can look into hiring a bigger vehicle but the cost would change.
I am also happy to receive feedback on whether you would like to travel with me but would rather skip the lunch. I think it will be fun but will go with the majority.
The itinerary is as follows
Date : 30 July 2005
Depart : 09h15
Place : Car Park outside Blouberg Tourism on the Beach
10h00 - arrive at Edith Stephens Wetland Park
10h00 - 11h00 tour of Edith Stephens Wetland Park
11h00 - 11h30 drive to Wolfgat Nature Reserve through Mitchells Plain
11h30 - 12h30 walk through Wolfgat Nature Reserve
12h30 - 13h00 drive through Macassar Dunes
13h00 Lunch at Lungi's in Gugulethu
Traditional Xhosa style Menu:
Soup with steamed Bread
Beef and Chicken stew with veggies and samp and beans
Juice or Ginger Beer
Dessert
Cost:
For those travelling with me and doing lunch in 'Gug's: R30 to cover my costs + R60 for lunch = R90
For those who would like to go under their own steam but would like to do lunch at Lungi's R60.
Return: 15h00
Please Rsvp to me Julie on 554 3669 or 083 4689 996 or julie@capesplendour.co.za
This newsletter comes to you with the kind assistance of Caltex.
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