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 Post subject: HR tête-à-tête
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 2:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:52 pm
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Hi All HR's from other parks/regions.

I was wondering what kind of duties you guys do in the other parks. Excluding projects, like biulding this and arranging that.
Purely focussing on your weekend/holiday duties.

In Addo: Fence patrol(First thing every morning, except when heavy rain), checking water points, Tourist patrol, gate duties. That makes up the bulk of a weekend duty. This weekend a new one is starting, that I'm extremely keen on... Snare patrol. Seems like it will also be a regular duty.
Addo has various sections, with various duties, but I'm only referring here to the main game area, since I'm still a new applicant and have not yet had a duty in any of the other sections.

Would be interisting to see what the other guys are doing and maybe we can then suggest the duties that the other HR's do in their parks to our own parks and hopefully diversify our usefullness in our own park.


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 Post subject: HR duties
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:43 pm 
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Howzit Night Owl,

Good question and it would be great if we could get comment from all the regions. Unfortunately some of them are a little backward and have yet to discover the wonderful world of the web.

I'm at Jo'burg, and we obviously don't have the luxury of being close to a park, so our park duties are mainly restricted to our events we host in the parks, particularly through National Projects. Our efforts are mainly focused around fund raising and environmental education. The exhibitions team (which draws from all 4 Gauteng regions) sees us putting up displays in shopping centres, schools etc, and the educationals we give to the schools are great fun, especially when you have the chance to expose some wonder of nature or triumph of conservation to kids who have no exposure to the parks. We like to think we're building a conservation platform for the future across all demographic groups.

Fund-raising events we hold include things like golf days, barnyard theatre events and for our events in the parks, we try and use our business contacts to rope in some heavy weights, maybe take them on a game capture weekend in Kruger, expose them to the immense challenge and cost of effective conservation - then we hope we touch a few hearts and pockets!

Come on other regions, answer Night Owls question!

Bodge!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:48 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:39 am
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Location: West Coast RSA
Hi NightOwl

We are extremely busy down on the West Coast. We started 7 years ago and have now grown into a close, dedicated group of Park lovers (stop that! You know EXACTLY what I mean!) totalling 31 as at last count.

You specifically asked not to report on Park duties, so I won't. Our Region focusses mainly on fundraising for Park Projects. Our Park really battles with finances, as we are so out in the sticks, we do not have the Big Five, and the local community can only provide so much support, so we have spread our wings a little wider, and now attract a lot of overseas funding (sponsorships), as well as donations from the wider SA business and private communities. Our PR department is top drawer and is really producing the goods for us and the Park, as you will see below.

Apart from the efforts in garnering sponsorships, we also have four annual fundraising activities as follows:

1) We run a little shop/kiosk/bookstore/info centre outside Postberg dusing the flower season each year, bringing in much-needed funds for our smaller Projects and providing a valuable service to the members of the local and overseas public who visit us, in the form of answering their many and varied questions. In fact, this is one of the reasons why Bushwhacker started his campfire chats - in an effort to discuss some of the conservation issues with other HRs, thereby arming us with answers instead of a mouth full of teeth! This kiosk is very popular, and brings in some serious funding if the flower season is a good one.

2) We host the annual Marathon through the WCNP each year, and close the gates to vehicles for the morning. This is becoming an increasingly popular event, and very lucrative, too.

3) Around the same time (December holidays) as 2) above, we also host our annual Cycle Race, also through the closed Park. This is also an excellent fundraiser and very popular with the cyclists, from the Italian Classic riders, the full race, the short race and the fun ride.

4) In March we hold our annual Birding Day/Weekend for 50 first-booked, first-accommodated birders. As stated elsewhere in these forums, this is also now established as a huge success and is bolstered by impressively knowledgeable presenters on birding subjects outside the actual competition hours. We are well-sponsored for this event in terms of prizes, goodie bags, lucky draw prizes and items for auction, making the whole weekend's takings our profit (except for the costs of the gala dinner on the Saturday night).

With the funding raised and sponsorships gathered, we are in the fortunate position to be proud of providing (and having provided) the following support to the West Coast National Park as follows:

A new rubber dinghy and motor for anti-poaching patrols on the lagoon, which has now been in operation for over a year, bringing many poachers and other transgressors to book so far.

A 20-seater Mercedes bus (the first of two needed) for transporting our 10,000pa disadvantaged schoolchildren around the Park while they attend our Park's courses - till now we have been ferrying them around in our private cars, which is clearly highly unsuitable in terms of insurance, personal fuel costs, wear and tear on our vehicles, and the need to work in relays to get everyone out to the remote parts before the session can commence. The majority of the R370k raised came from overseas foundations.

A herd of Grey Rhebok (delivery imminent) for the Park - mostly overseas funding used here.

A new Info Centre is our new Project for this year and is well underway.

We are currently also creating copies of the Fagile Harmony tape in the form of new tapes and DVD's for sale in the Park. This publication, although 20 years or so old, is still wonderfully relevant today and deserves to be republished for the benefit of those visitors who would like a copy. At the same time, one of our technically-advantaged PC boffins is producing a pictorial and movie DVD with music and explanatory narratives on the highlights of our Park - also for resale. This successfully marries a public need with a future source of income, thereby creating a self-sustaining initiative for the Park.

Some within our ranks are retired and not-so-retired teachers. These dedicated natualists have dived in alongside the WC SANParks Socio-ecologists and now assist with the mammoth task of hosting between 6,000 and 10,000 disadvantaged schoolchildren per year in our Park. These wonderful members give freely of their time to present lectures and to take the kids out into the field and onto the rocks and beaches to show them what they were taught in the eco-education hall. The kids stay over in our renovated stables and really leave with a new outlook toward nature. It is for this effort that the buses mentioned above are needed. These same members are rapidly becoming sought-after accredited HR course leaders in our cluster.

We have recently been tasked to recce the Park for a suitable set of mountain bike trails, as this is clearly a big ticket item amongst mountain bike afficionados, and is also set to become a big attraction to such folk. (Sometimes it is good not to have the Big Five!)

Many smaller items, like binoculars, fridges, freezers, digital projectors, video machines, microwaves, scanner/copier/fax/answering machines, new flower beds, new walls, renovation of old buildings, alien vegetation removal, new mag lights, and a host of other stuff has also been delivered through our efforts.

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Almost everything comes from almost nothing.

Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 8:18 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Hi WestCoaster

WOW :!:
You guys are very active and thanx for the detailed breakdown.
But I think you missread my question :lol:
I Specifically asked for Duties hehehehe
But I do value your response and got qiute a couple of ideas from your post to suggest to our ADDO HR group.
Anny of the Other regions HR's want to contribute to this thread?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:48 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:39 am
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Location: West Coast RSA
:redface: :redface: :redface: :redface:

Sorry, NightOwl! Was a bad week for me!

I think most parks HR's have similar duties, the only difference being the Park-specific stuff, like we cannot do speed traps or anti-poaching patrols on our own unless suitably qualified SANParks staff accompany us. So that leaves gate duties, public liaison, visitor Q&A, front desk (reception) duties, picking up litter, marshalling, general maintenance work, extra bodies for game capture/relocation and educational assistance for the socio-ecologists.

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Almost everything comes from almost nothing.

Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)
Philosopher and writer


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:59 am 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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WestCoaster wrote:
We are currently also creating copies of the Fagile Harmony tape in the form of new tapes and DVD's for sale in the Park. This publication, although 20 years or so old, is still wonderfully relevant today and deserves to be republished for the benefit of those visitors who would like a copy.

I apologise for jumping into the HR's thread like this but WestCoaster can you perhaps share some more on this tape? What is it about? Thanks

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:21 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: West Coast RSA
Hi francoisd.

No need for apologies - this IS a discussion forum!

Fragile Harmony is a beautifully put together VCR tape with the West Coast National Park, specifically the Langebaan Lagoon as its subject matter. The issues discussed and explained range from the sensitively-balanced inter-dependence of the lagoon organisms with the phenomenons known as upwelling and red tides to wind, rain and fresh water seepage from underground aquifers which also play valuable roles in the salt marshes and are explained at length.

We have been trying for years to get a new DVD and tape series out for the public, and have been frustrated at every turn, hence the initiative to revive Fragile Harmony.

The West Coast's Langebaan Lagoon is really a "Jewel in Jeopardy", as this tape proves.

_________________
Almost everything comes from almost nothing.

Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881)
Philosopher and writer


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:14 am
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Location: Phalaborwa
Hi everyone

From a Bushveld region point of view, we don't do it much differently from everyone else, although we live right next to the KNP! We help at the gate, provide able bodies for duties in the Elephant hall in Letaba, do general duties in most of the camps around us. We are fairly close to Mopanie, Letaba, Olifants and even Shingwedzi. I have yet to recieve an invite from SANParks to help with game capture or the like, but on many TV programs I do see HR's helping, obviously from other regions where they have more members (or money!)
Our region was responsible for all the costs associated with the skeleton that was put up in the Elephant hall, and that was a major task! We are also funding the Emerging Tuskers competition's printing costs, and have the odd sales for fundraising. We had a booklet printed that contains info on the recognised tuskers, and interesting info on elephants in general, the sales of those are also going very well as a fund raising effort.
As far any other duties are concerned, there seems to be a lot of confusion among hospitality managers at various restcamps as to the tasks that HR's can help with.
I am still very concerned with the number of people that actually join the HR's, come to meetings, and that is it! They never do a duty, never pitch in to help with fundraising, they last a year, and are then kindly asked to leave, as they don't mean anything in a group of volunteers like ours.

Regards and bushveld greetings


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