Zandvlei Trust

"Do it Day" at GZENR.

Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve (GZENR) hosts the first “Do it Day” 2009 with the motto: 
Pull it out and clean it up!

"Do it Day", a GreaterGood, South Africa initiative, took place this year on the 18th September 2009.

Sharon McCallum from Zandlvei Trust, a volunteer organisation applied for the project and GZENR hosted the “Do It Day” 2009. It was the first event of its kind to be held at the Reserve.
The aim of "Do It Day" is to promote a culture of volunteering in South Africa and to contribute in a meaningful way – it is not a fundraising opportunity.

photograph by Declan Ross                                                                                photograph by Declan Ross

The groups arriving.                                                                Being asked for a photograph or two. 

photograph by Declan Ross                                               photograph by Declan Ross

At the Environmental Education Centre.          Sharon McCallum speaking to Eddie Moses and Romeo Paulse.

photograph by Sharon McCallum                                        photograph by Sharon McCallum

Declan Ross came to supervise                        Bonnie Fraser from Durban and Eddie.
and help with one of the groups.

Volunteers were asked to come armed with a good spirit and enthusiasm to help remove some of the litter entering the Reserve, as well as clearing some invasive alien plant species like Port Jackson (Acacia saligna), Rooikrans (Acacia Cyclops) and Wild lentil (Vicia benghalensis and Vicia sativa).
Protective gloves were sponsored by Greater Good South Africa and black bags were supplied by the City of Cape Town. The day started at 09h00am, and up to 55 volunteers arrived at various times during the day.

The first group to arrive was Reddam High School who brought a class of 26 volunteers, a teacher and an assistant. This group was given an introductory talk by Romeo Paulse, the project leader and practical student for GZENR for the year of 2009. His talk included information on the reserve and its ecology, the flora and fauna and particularly the challenges that are presented.
The next group to arrive consisted of members from Tygerberg Hospital’s Forensic Pathology department (23 volunteers) which included 11 fourth year medical students from Tygerberg Hospital and some doctors.

The group from Reddam High School was split into two groups, one group being taken to Wildwood Island under supervision of Mr. Declan Ross. This group managed to collect 12 bags of litter and other items from the water’s edge including trolleys, twelve tyres, washing machine casing, computer monitor casings and a tricycle! An indication of the extent of littering and pollution experienced in the area.

photograph by Declan Ross                                                               photograph by Declan Ross

The Reddam High School group at the mouth of the Sand River, clearlng the junk from the shoreline and the waterbody. This is on the Wildwood Island.

photograph by Declan Ross                                                               photograph by Declan Ross

Look at the large amount of junk they cleaned up for collection to the dump site. Well done guys!!

The second group from Reddam High School did alien clearing near the second lookout point in the reserve. Edward Moses (GZENR staff member) supervised the Port Jackson and Rooikrans clearing team in cutting down these aliens. Herbicide was applied to the cut stumps to prevent regrowth. At a later stage during the day, Mark Arendse (Environmental Education Officer GZENR), further supervised these volunteers and cut down the larger trees with a chainsaw.

The volunteers from Tygerberg Hospital’s Pathology department helped pulling out Vicia as it is a major invasive annual weed and one of the biggest problems GZENR has to deal with at this time of year. The Tygerberg group was placed near the Red Data section and along the western fence (Henley Road) of the reserve and cleared ten black bags filled with Vicia. Zandvlei Nature Reserve staff assisted the volunteers and helped to show them what to do and which plants to pull. Zandvlei’s international volunteer, Corinna Keup from Germany, also assisted with supervising some of the volunteers.

photograph by Declan Ross                                                          photograph by Declan Ross

Wild lentil Vicia benghalensis                                 Filling the bags. It is relatively easy to pullout and very 
                                                                            time consuming.

photograph by Declan Ross                                                                    photograph by Declan Ross

There are large tracts which have become invaded. It is seasonal plant and growis quickly at this time of the year. Hand pulling helps it not seed for this year.

At midday, all volunteers were asked to make their way to the parking area for lunch as more volunteers arrived. The group on Wildwood Island was brought back to the Reserve. After lunch all volunteers made their way to Zandvlei Nature Reserve’s road reserve area and cleared a further 85 black bags of Vicia.

Some of the volunteers could not stay for the duration of the day and at 14h00 the last group made their way to their transport vehicles. As GZENR is always looking for increased capacity for projects like this, “Do It Day” provided much appreciated assistance which contributed to environmental awareness and looking after the well-being of our ecosystem.

photograph by Declan Ross                                                          photograph by Declan Ross

the bags                                                               Corinna Keup with some of the Tygerberg staff
                                                                            and all the bags they managed to clear.
                                                                            Well done to everyone.

The volunteer groups made jokes and had a good laugh whilst tending to these duties which resulted in an inspiring, light hearted and fun filled day. GZENR aims to build long-term relationships with members of the public and to promote awareness of the Nature Reserve.

photograph by Sharon McCallum 

Lin and Peter Tucker, ZVT members who
came to help.

At the end Romeo Paulse thanked all volunteers involved for their contributions in helping to clean up and sustain our environment. It is said “As far as that little candle throws its beam, so a good deed shines in this weary world”.

The contributions of all volunteers, as well as ZVT (Zandvlei Trust) and GreaterGood South Africa and the staff at GZENR for co-ordinating and organising “Do It Day”, will ensure that their contributions will shine far and wide.

Romeo Paulse.


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