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.
Main gate counts indicated that 1685 people entered the reserve on the day.
- An estimated 600 children (from pre-registered school and community groups) received education packs and a meal pack.
- The education packs were made possible thanks to discounted printing costs by TopCopy and a donation of stationery items from The Crazy Store.
- Meal packs were made possible thanks to donations from Amanzi Chem, Professional Laundry Services, Gatsby Express and Fisherman’s Lane.
- Peninsula Beverages sponsored healthy-option drinks for the meal packs, as well as bottled water for all Fun Walk participants.
- Left-over meal packs were donated to the Grassy Park Fisherhaven Shelter.
- The City’s Disaster Risk Management (Ottery Branch) volunteers acted as safety marshals along the walk route. The event organisers were also very fortunate to have the Melomed paramedics and ambulance service on hand. This provided great peace of mind for the organisers and ensured that all participants were kept safe throughout the day.
- Environmental education and awareness remained a focus point of the event, with a number of interactive activities and games for learners along the route. These activities imparted environmental messages to all participants relating to indigenous vegetation, the birds found in the area, and threats to nature.
- 13 partner organisations joined in on the day to exhibit and present interactive activities. Once again, the presence of Eagle Encounters and Cape Reptile Club was a hit with children as they were able to interact with the animals.
- The holistic nature of the event was enhanced by the presence of the Melomed Private Hospitals health screening teams.
- Waste management and awareness was an additional focus area of the festival, with manned recycling stations encouraging participants to take responsibility for their litter, as well as an eco-bricking station to introduce the children to the concept.
- Strandfontein Primary School won the 2 night camp at Rondevlei Nature Reserve for 40 learners, and this will take place in 2019.
- The participating organisations are listed below:
- Cape Bird Club
- Save Our Seas
- Cape Leopard Trust
- Two Oceans Aquarium
- Eagle Encounters
- Jungle Theatre
- Cape Reptile Club
- Smart Living.
Helen Whelan CTEET.
All photographs by Otto Schmidt.