Chairperson: Wilna Pretorius 0769962849 JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Secretary: Madeleine Beattie 018-2947470 JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Bankenveld is situated in Northwest and although the region originally had it roots in Potchefstroom, we now also have members in Rustenburg, Fochville and Lichtenburg.
There are eight meetings during the year, usually on the second Wednesday of the month in the auditorium of the public library in Potchefstroom. Outdoor meetings on a Saturday are a great favourite among all the members.
While Bankenveld is situated far from a national park and Potchefstroom will never be the main fundraising city in South Africa, we concentrate on things that we can do well.
- Tree and Grass Identification courses presented by Prof Sarel Cilliers, a well known plant ecologist are held in the Vredefort Dome.
- Hospitality course: John Botha is, as an accredited presenter of the old Communications Course, now focusing on the new Hospitality Course.
Training of Junior Ranger facilitators was done in Augrabies, Kgalgadi, Namaqua, and Mokala National Parks as well as Bankenveld region, by Wilna Pretorius
- An exhibition with a particular conservation theme, for example wetlands, is annually presented at the Spring Show in Potchefstroom.
- Learners who do not necessarily want to become Junior Rangers, enjoy going on a Sense Active Awareness Walk in the Vredefort Dome on a Saturday morning. These groups come from the local community, pre-school kids, farm schools in the area and youth organisations.
- 3. Junior Rangers
Bankenveld has three active groups of Junior Rangers with very enthusiastic facilitators.
- Renovation of the Information Centre and Day Visitors area in Satara started in 2010 and was completed in June 2011.
Decorating of the Day Visitor Area in Satara was suggested by Satara management and completed by Bankenveld. The panels were designed and painted by students, and lecturers of the School for Interior Design of the Potchefstroom Academy and assisted by an Honorary Ranger from Bankenveld
Each panel portrays the culture, activities, dress, customs and social happenings of indigenous ethnic groups. The Zulu, Tsonga, Venda, and Swazi cultures formed the first part of the rendering, as well as a panel depicting the Voortrekkers, as they also passed through the Park in pioneering days.
The follow up on this program will probably include the San, Pedi, and Ndebele.
- Three hundred indigenous trees of that area were also planted in Satara camp.
Six sets of snake catching equipment were supplied to Satara, Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop and Berg-en-Dal.
5. Activities concerning conservation
- Members took part in the SABC Butterfly atlas project.
- Since the Vredefort Dome's proclamation as a World Heritage site has become a possibility, almost five hundred trees on different conservation areas were identified and labeled.
6. Rewarding our members
In November 2010, André van der Merwe presented on behalf of Bankenveld the merit award Green to some of our members at a special occasion.
Gert du Toit celebrated thirty years as an Honorary Ranger in 2011. He and his wife Susan still enjoy rendering almost six weeks of services in Satara, every year.
Hansie and Betsie van der Westhuizen were founders of the Honorary Rangers in Karoo National Park, served for sixteen years and have a wealth of knowledge of our parks and the environment.
Neels Buitendag served as treasurer for many years and was one of our members with a wonderful knowledge of grasses.