River sampling under way with community members!

Working together to clean the Klein Jukskei in Johannesburg

Locals in Johannesburg North work together for a greater cause by bringing the community together to restore the natural environment.

Riverglades Estate in Jukskei Park was fortunate enough to have The Biodiversity Company give a talk on snakes and spiders. People fear these animals the most and often encounter them in their homes or surrounding areas, making educational talks so crucial. Michael Adams, a herpetologist from the biodiversity company highlighted the key differences between venomous and non-venomous snakes, what you should do if/when you encounter a snake and the importance of reptiles in our ecosystem. Dale Kindler, one of their aquatic specialists talked about spiders and distinguishing harmless spiders from harmful ones. The talk was particularly important to get the Riverglades community aware of the recently enclosed part of the Jukskei river within the estate. Earlier this year, The Biodiversity Company collectively with the estate and The Klein-Jukskei Greenbelt Initiative (KJGBI), cleared up what was previously an encroached and litter-filled river belt. The area which is now open to the residents of Riverglades, allows maintenance of the area and a safe space for the community to appreciate the river and its natural beauty.

The Klein-Jukskei Greenbelt Initiative and the biodiversity company are joining forces to transform other areas of the Klein-Jukskei river to keep it spotless.

Klein Jukskei is home to a variety of fish/©Hiral Naik

An interactive and informative event hosted by The Biodiversity Company saw community members coming together to assess the water quality in the Jukskei river, do some fish sampling and clean up litter around the river. Residents from the area as well as pupils and teachers from the King’s College in Bryanston also joined them to make it a fun learning experience. A number of bass fish were caught and the day was filled with delighted faces and wonderful educational experiences. These community based initiatives serve as examples for others to make a difference for the future.

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Cameron McGregor founder of the KJGBI envisions the section of the river from Witkoppen Road to Malibongwe Drive safe, clean and accessible for the entire community to enjoy. The klein jukskei river is a major tributary of The Jukskei river, which eventually flows to Hartebeesport Dam. The dam is annually filled with tons of plastic and others forms of waste which all flows in from Johannesburg. Urban communities are polluting the water without realising the systematic effect. Therefore, it is important for community members of Johannesburg to realise take action and clean up. Working together with the Klein-Jukskei Greenbelt Initiative and organisations such as The Biodiversity Company encourages everyone to make small changes.

Klein Jukskei in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg/©Hiral Naik

You can follow the Klein Jukskei Green Initiative on Facebook and get involved in their monthly clean-ups. Make a difference in your community, so that your children can reap the rewards in the future.

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