10 March, 2008

Search For Wetland Restoration And Monitoring Employment Opportunities

Ben Stone-Francisco is looking for employment opportunities in the field of wetland restoration and monitoring. He has good experience in wetland restoration, management, and monitoring internationally. He managed the Heron's Head Park (HHP) wetland in San Francisco for many years, and was responsible for all aspects of land management, including all planning and implementing of restoration activities, collection and propagation of endemic plant species, and the necessary monitoring and maintenance to ensure the sustainable conservation of HHP and the surrounding natural
Contact Ben on: ben.stonefrancisco@yahoo.com


Water Week River Walk: The Friends of the Liesbeek invite you to join them on a walk and talk along the upper reaches of the Liesbeek. On Wednesday 19 March meet at 6.45pm in Winchester Rd below the Good Shepherd Church, Bishopscourt. Bring family and friends and some refreshments to enjoy afterwards. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jersey. Dogs on leads with poopscoops are welcome. No charge.
Queries to Liz or Dave on 021-671-4553.

National Water Week starts on Monday 17 March and ends on World Water Day on Saturday 22 March.

By 2025 South Africa will be classified as "subject to water scarcity" along with 14 other African countries. By then our population will have doubled and we will not have enough to supply all our needs.

Therefore we need to protect our rivers, wetlands and underground water. We need to prevent wastage and pollution.

Remember: Water is life. Take good care of it.

· Clean yards, patios, pavements and driveways with brooms and you'll save about 200 litres of water.

· 60% of water evaporates if you water your garden between 11am and 4pm

· Wash your car over grass and use a bucket and save about 300 litres.

· Only rain in the drain. No soapy water, litter or dog faeces etc

· A shower uses 10 litres per minute and a bath 200 litres.

· More than 26 litres is wasted per day by one leaking tap.

· Fit water saving devices to your home.

Visit the MTN Science Centre at Canal Walk for free demos on 20 & 21 March 2008

06 March, 2008

Agenda for 12 March 08


13:30 – 14:00 : Welcome and Chair’s Report; Report back from Steering Committee meeting
Matters arising from previous minutes.

14:00 – 14.20: Rivers, Vleis and Wetlands - An Urban Management Perspective
By Barry Wood Pr. Eng, Manager: Catchment, Stormwater & River Management
Roads & Stormwater Department, City of Cape Town

14:20 – 14:45: Working for Wetlands progress report and plans for 2008/2009
By George Davis, Manager Urban Conservation Unit, SANBI

14:45 – 15:00: World Wetlands Day Report Back

15:00 – 15:30: TEA

15:30 – 16:00: World Wetlands Day Report Back (continued)

16:00 – 16:30: Membership Input & General Forum Business, Announcements & Publications
Up-coming events.

16:30: Closure

Opening of Self Guided Trail for the Blind at Silvermine River Wetlands

The Self Guided Trail for the blind at the Silvermine River Wetlands was opened on World Wetlands Day 2008. The trail is sponsored by the Rowland and Leta Hill Trust, BoE and WWF-SA. Two blind people and an enthusiastic group of children, their parents and a school teacher attended the opening event, which included an educational walk along the trail.


During the two weeks of 28 January to 7 February, various school groups from as far as Khayelitsha visited Zandvlei Nature Reserve to celebrate World Wetlands Day which falls on February 2nd. Many of these school children have never had a "wildlife experience" and come from disadvantaged communities who cannot afford to visit natural areas.

731 learners came from the following schools:

28/01/2008: Lwandle Public Primary
29/01/2008: Impendulol Primary
30/01/2008: Soyisile Primary
31/01/2008: Sosebenza Primary
04/02/2008: Meadowridge Primary
05/02/2008: Latana Primary and Zerilda Primary
06/02/2008: Cornflower Primary
07/02/2008: Mandalay Primary


They were brought to the Nature Reserve on "Themba" the Edu Train where they were given various lessons about the environment. Once at the reserve, they were taken on a tour through the reserve with bird identification charts. They were shown the special plants and took part in drama sessions to help understand the relationship between the urban and natural environments and the impacts they have on each other.

They took part in hands on experiments which helped them understand the functioning and importance of wetlands and estuaries and were treated to a live animal demonstration, an opportunity that some young learners never experience. Some learners were very scared but chose to overcome their fears if only for this day by holding some of the animals that we come into contact with at Zandvlei.

The holistic approach which the team at Zandvlei uses ensures that the learners leave with a good general knowledge of wetlands as well as an appreciation for the natural environment.

Many thanks to the people who made it possible: Mark Arendse (Education Officer Zandvlei), Fay Howa (Intern Zandvlei) Sebastian Osborne and Andrew Taylor (Nature Conservation students Zandvlei), Donna Dawson (International volunteer) and the Zandvlei Trust members who assisted with the preparation and hard work that went into the program. And thanks to the Metrorail Edutrain organisers and teachers for giving the next generation a memory to treasure.

Cassy Sheasby - Manager Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve


Cilla Bromley of GEESE reports on an energetic clean-up effort in the Glencairn wetlands on World Wetlands Day:

Our day began at 9 and ended some ten hours later, with an interval for lunch and refurbishment! We concentrated our efforts on the triangle of land in front of the Southern Right Hotel, Glencairn, through which the Els River passes. Our aim was twofold. One to collect up all the rubbish and two, to start clearing the Typha from that stretch of the Els River, below the Glen Road bridge. There was a splendid turn out of GEESE (Glencairn Education & Environmental Support Enthusiasts) and their friends - including Philipppa and Lloyd Huntly - ranging from under 5s to over 70s.

Armed with forks, saws, secateurs, shears, boots, and donkeys (the canvas kind) and the such like, we worked for a couple of hours. Two trailer loads of rubbish were taken to the dump and the mountain of cut Typha was removed by City Parks people the next day. The noise, laughter, mud and comraderie said it all! Then we retreated to the Southern Right Hotel where we were treated to tea, coffee and delicious sandwiches, followed by a presentation from Paul Jaques on what the old water mill up river would have been like.

Thanks to his computer skills it was graphically brought alive. In the afternoon, we inspected the ruins before walking down along the Els River back to the hotel for further refreshments. The evening ended with a most generous donation of R1,500 by the hotel to GEESE for our partnership in helping to keep the Vlei looking good, clean and healthy.