Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter April 2004
It has now come to the end of another financial year and we ask all members, except those who are Life Members or those who have joined for the first time since January 2004 to renew their membership.
Please continue your valued support of Friends of Rietvlei. As has to happen from time to time the membership fees have to be adjusted. The following are the new rates:
FAMILY R 50.00
JUNIOR R 20.00
10 YEAR MEMBERSHIP (per person) R200.00
Apart from a slight increase, the major change has been to change Life Membership to a 10 Year Membership. For those with the foresight to take out Life Membership in the past you have had a good deal!! From now on the 10 Year Membership will still offer future members a cost effective membership. Should you have any queries please contact the Treasurer, Margaret Maciver on 557 4990.
Our AGM will take place on:
The business part of the meeting will take place first. The present serving committee will then stand down and a new committee will be nominated & elected. The present number of 4 committee members was felt to be too few as there are many issues to be dealt with. The following expertise is needed on the committee: secretarial, bookkeeping, fundraising, birding, botanical, environmental education, display making, general enthusiasm and interest in the local environment.
With our new Education Centre in full operation, there is also a need for people to help with certain duties when we have a function, ie. someone to be present on our monthly Saturday open morning, people to assist with serving refreshments, etc. Those people only need to be available on the day and do not have to attend committee meetings.
After the AGM business we will have a guest speaker:
Cliff Dorse, recently appointed as Conservation Manager at the Blaauwberg Conservation Area, but previously working at Zandvlei Nature Reserve, will be speaking on "Urban Conservation"
Those members who enjoyed the first evening talk in our new Education Centre may be pleased to learn that we have decided to have a regular "open day". Please diarise the third Saturday of every month when the Education Centre will be open from 9 am to 12 pm. Light refreshments will be available at a small cost to boost our fundraising efforts.
The first such Open Day was held on Saturday, 20 March when we welcomed about 14 visitors to the Centre. It was a good opportunity to examine some of the displays and reading material and get to know fellow members. Those who felt up to it were invited to join in a walk to the hide, which was enjoyed by all despite few sightings of birds.
We feel that a regular Open Day will be an excellent opportunity for members to enjoy the Education Centre and the various exhibits, and to encourage friends to visit the Rietvlei area. There is no entrance fee at the main gate for members if you intend walking to the Centre, but a nominal fee is charged for access by car. People who are not members of Friends of Rietvlei will have to pay the normal entrance fee. Come along next Open Day (on 17 April) and join in our activities! Thereafter 15 May and 19 June.
Please note that due to a change in working hours for City of Cape Town officials the entrance gate off Grey/Sandpiper Roads, Rietvlei, Table View, will now be open from 09h00 to 17h30, seven days a week.
March has proved to be a dry and windy month. The Central Pan started drying out in February this year and the recommendations from the CSIR "Dust Study" were put into practice by the Rietvlei conservation staff. All went well with no dust episodes until late in March, when the pump that was pumping water from the North Vlei onto the Central Pan broke down, the pan dried out and some really strong south-easterly winds blew. Residents of Flamingo Vlei were subjected to clouds of dust blowing over them. At the time of writing the pump had been replaced and water was flowing onto the Central Pan again. Easter is often recognized as the start of the autumn rains, so we could see the pans filling up again shortly.
The advent of the wooden cabin, known and operated as the Rietvlei Education Centre, has really opened up the area as far as school groups are concerned. The Nature Conservation students at Rietvlei have contacted many schools and arranged visits to Rietvlei. This first school term there have been visits from grades 1 - 8 from Woodlands Primary, over 7 days, from Saambou Primary, Melkbos Preprimary and Athwood Primary. Nearly 500 children have visited the center in March!! Most of these visits have been enabled by sponsorship for the bus transport from Caltex. This a really exciting start to the use of our centre and a great achievement for our Friends group, the nature conservation staff of the City and Caltex.
The YES (Youth Environmental School) 2004 program in the first week of June will be another time of concentrated environmental education at Rietvlei. This program will include the celebration of World Environment Week . The theme for this year is Seas and Oceans. More in the next newsletter!
WATER HYACINTH -A team of 10 labourers have been working from the Blaauwberg Road bridge southwards clearing the water hyacinth that had grown quite extensively in the early summer months. Good progress has been made on removing this alien water weed from the reserve.
ROOIKRANS & PORT JACKSON - these plants need ongoing removal., even from areas that have had extensive clearing. Louis Raubenheimer welcomes your support with hacking. Contact him ( 554 2221) if you can give a few hours of your time.
ROOIKRANS & PORT JACKSON - these plants need ongoing removal., even from areas that have had extensive clearing. Louis Raubenheimer welcomes your support with hacking. Contact him ( 554 2221) if you can give a few hours of your time.
This newsletter comes to you with the kind assistance of Caltex.
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