"Do it Day" at GZENR.
Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve (GZENR) hosts
the first “Do it Day” 2009 with the motto:
"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 groups arriving. Being asked for a photograph or two.
At the Environmental Education Centre. Sharon McCallum speaking to Eddie Moses and Romeo Paulse.
Declan Ross came to
Bonnie Fraser from Durban and Eddie.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
Wild lentil Vicia benghalensis
Filling the bags. It is relatively easy to pullout and very
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.
Corinna Keup with some of the Tygerberg staff
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.
Lin and Peter Tucker, ZVT members who
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.