Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter June 2003
From the Hide
At the time of writing, very little rain has fallen in the Table View/Milnerton area, so there is no water in the back pan and therefore not much bird life. The north and south lakes support their usual birds, and a few Greater Flamingos have moved into the south lake. Let's hope we have some good rain in the next few months.
Annual General Meeting
Thanks to those members who attended our AGM. We had a good turnout of around 33 people. The three Nature Conservation students told us about their projects for the year and Kelly Greenwood's fish survey is already well under way. Rob Robertson and Louis Raubenheimer gave us amusing updates on their projects which include the long suffering expansion plans for the Waste Water Treatment Works and the equally long term alien vegetation removal plans. We are still appealing for committee members as our committee of four is battling to stay afloat and up to date with all the environmental monitoring we are committed to. Please contact Nelis Visagie on 082 777 5708 or myself, Margaret on 557-4990 if you are willing to give a little of your time to a very worthy cause - the protection of the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve.
Due to our small committee being somewhat inundated with work, we are having to make a few changes and cutbacks. The newsletter will now be sent out every second month, unless someone is prepared to assist with its preparation. Remember, we welcome any contributions from you, our members, for our newsletter.
We have had to abandon the membership card system. We don't have anyone who has the time to process these and post them out - plus the cost is prohibitive. We will revert to the previous method of handing a membership list to the Water Rangers at the Milnerton Aquatic Club gate. When members arrive at the gate to go on a walk to the bird hide, the Rangers will take their names and membership details and check their lists to see that they are, in fact, members. These members will then be allowed free entry into the vlei, just as though they had presented a membership card. This system will only start operating at the end of July, when those members who have not renewed their membership will be removed from the list. Until that time, you may continue to use your membership cards.
The Committee members retain their portfolios as follows:
Chairman: Nelis Visagie Tel. 082 777 5708
Secretary: Pauline Potton Tel. 557-6920
Treasurer: Margaret Maciver Tel. 557-4990
Conservation: Pat Titmuss Tel. 557-3748
All Committee members will also assist with the education portfolio
Education Centre
We are still awaiting the end of the appeals process and will let you know as soon as we have any news regarding our Education Centre.
Potsdam Waste Water Treatment Works Expansion
The appeals process for this venture has also not been finalised yet, and is still ongoing.
Our three Nature Conservation students have begun planting indigenous shrubs in the cleared area near the bird hide, and we await some rain to help them grow.
Update on Student Projects
Kelly Greenwood's fish survey is going well and Marine and Coastal Management are assisting with this project and provided the boat. The winter survey is almost complete and another will be done in summer. Jeremy Keyser is progressing well with the vegetation project and Bronwen Foster has conducted three schools on educational visits to Rietvlei.
Our next evening talk will be on Thursday 25th September - further details to follow nearer the date.
We also hope to be joining the Friends of the Blaauwberg Conservation Area for evening talks and daytime outings in August/September - we will give you more details in our next newsletter.
This newsletter comes to you with the kind assistance of Caltex.
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