Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
Ode to Marisa de Kock - 29 April 2010.
In March 2008 Marisa de Kock took over the management post for the Muizenberg East cluster of natural areas from Tim Szoke. She had a massive task ahead to get to speed with the various developments taking place in the area, had a lot of reading through Environmental Impact Reports and Scoping reports and met many of the developers and Environmental Control Officers for the developments.
During school holidays Marisa presented holiday environmental education outings to the residents children of Villa D’alGuarve. She is passionate about getting people involved in the natural environment and has headed up the search and rescue aided by volunteers of the Chevron development site. She just recently helped Mark Arendse with school hikes up the mountain.
She contracted a labour team from the Link in Marina da Gama to use for alien clearing projects on Psoralea Park and Muizenberg East private nature reserves which gave the candidates a better understanding of alien plants, why they are problematic and how they are controlled as well as providing job opportunities for previously disadvantaged people.
Marisa continued liaison with the landscapers and environmental consultants during the development stage of Psoralea Park and initiated Leopard Toad counts and road mortality monitoring between this development and the cemetery adjacent to it. She translocated over 80 Arum Lily frogs from this site prior to bulldozing to ensure they had a chance of surviving and was pleasantly surprised to count a similar number the following year in the conservation area after the development had taken place. She also found a number of Cross marked grass snakes here which are excellent indicators that the ecosystem is still supporting a wide variety of animals.
Whenever I have been on leave, Marisa has always filled in the management position and ensured that things were taken care of while I was away. My words here of what she has achieved will never do her real justice as she was such a massive part of our team, she will be sorely missed by all of us at Zandvlei. She was always willing and eager to take part in activities, happy to help even outside of her realm of responsibility and always had a sense of fun and adventure as I witnessed a few times she would spontaneously dive into the ocean on hot days in full uniform to cool down after field work. Always willing to go on snake callouts, rescue operations, fishing and hiking, there will be a big hole in our workforce without her!
Marisa is now working in a permanent capacity for SANParks on Table Mountain as a Ranger Sgt - well done and may you have many fun times ahead and many fond memories of your time spent with us.