Friends of Rietvlei
Newsletter August/September 2004
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.
Evening Talk
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 view
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.
Potsdam Environmental Management Committee
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 concerning Rietvlei.
Rietvlei Farm
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.
September Open Day/Adopt-a-beach Programme
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 spring flowers.
"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.
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