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 “Caring for Nature and Sharing with People”

Baviaanskloof Nature Awareness (BNA) is a group of young adults from local communities who care about the area’s natural heritage and wish to share that passion with others.

We believe that nature underpins and connects all of who we are. It is part of our Baviaanskloof identity and belonging.
We believe that caring for nature is also caring for ourselves, the wellbeing of our communities and respecting creation.

Our mission is to enhance nature awareness through three core areas:
* Experience: We offer informal guided walks for visitors, sharing our knowledge of local wildlife and medicinal uses. We are building walking trails, picnic sites and bird hides to facilitate rich experiences.
* Education: We support nature learning in our schools, children and communities. We give presentations and organise outdoor experiential activities to enliven environmental education.  We learn from our elders.
* Ecology: We monitor local wildlife out of curiosity, concern and for its conservation. We document wildlife threats and opportunities. We record the presence and distribution of key species. We propagate plants to support landscape restoration.

Our vision is to grow our ourselves and our communities through nurturing nature and deepening connection to the area. We aim to become a ‘go-to’ hub for sourcing ecological knowledge (past and present), providing interpretative and affective nature experiences and delivering educational expertise about the Baviaanskloof.

We are working toward becoming accomplished: area-specific field guides (for visitors to the kloof); local environmental educators (for schools and youth); documenters and restorers of dwindling medicinal plant knowledge (for community and culture); and biodiversity monitoring to assist ongoing landscape restoration and wildlife management (for conservation organizations, researchers and practitioners).

Please come visit our office at the Sewefontein community in the Baviaans Hartland (western section).
We look forward to your support and sharing the delights of our home with you.

Since reigniting their commitment in late 2014, members of the BNA Group have:

Walked with wilderness guides to learn about trail interpretation
Refined vision and mission
Participated in training aimed at enhancing naturalist awareness
Received training on the basics of birding and nature guiding
Begun compiling a library of local plants and their traditional uses
Created guided day and overnight walking trails with bush camping
Participated in Spirit of the Wild training at Bergplaas Nature Reserve
Acted as guides for visiting university student groups (and been active learners on those outings)

The BNA Group is currently in the process of:

  • Using field guide books to enhance knowledge of local flora and fauna
  • Completing self-study naturalist training programs
  • Using trails cameras to monitor the presence of wildlife on communal land
  • Participating in citizen science initiatives such as iSpot and BirdLasser
  • Developing experiential learning programs for local schools and after-school activities
  • Developing day walks, guided overnight hiking trails, picnic and birding sites

For further information, contributions or donations, contact: baviaansnature@gmail.com