The False Bay Nature Reserve Birdathon is a community event providing fun, outdoor learning opportunities for children and families from the communities surrounding the Reserve, in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. The event is focused on the youth, and local primary schools make up the bulk of the participants. These schools come from the surrounding areas, including Retreat, Lavender Hill, Philippi, Pelican Park and Strandfontein, and are almost entirely from impoverished communities. The aim of the event is to expose the children and the local communities to the joys of the Nature Reserve and provide a fun family day out at minimal cost.
This year, Melomed once again was the key sponsor supporting the event, pledging R25 000 towards the day and towards an environmental education camp for one of the attending schools.
The Birdathon took place on 20 October this year. A gale-force wind on the morning of the event presented a massive challenge as the Festival component had to be moved to the False Bay Ecology Centre. Despite the initial chaos, the event still ended up being a success with all partners working together to make the day possible. The usual Fun Walk approach was followed with routes of 4, 5 and 6km starting from 08h30 in the morning.
Helen Whelan CTEET.
All photographs by Otto Schmidt.