Conservatonists’ legacy lives on
It was a bittersweet, yet most enjoyable evening as trustees and student interns formerly associated with the Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort Conservation Trust, finally bade each other, as well their joint conservation dreams for Mossel Bay and surrounds, farewell for now.
The trust hosted an intimate event at Nyaru Lodge near Brandwag last week on Thursday, 21 September, where there was reminiscence aplenty.
Established in 2007, the trust originally traded as Oyster Bay Reserve and served as the environmental body for the Pinnacle Point Estate. After the Pinnacle Point Resort's liquidation, the trust moved its offices to the PetroSA Nature Reserve in 2014, trading as the Pinnacle Conservation Trust. Here, the main objective was to manage the reserve and to provide educational outreaches, whilst offering student internships.
Sadly, due to funding challenges, the trust had to after 10 very productive years in fulfilling their vision of educating the community to take an interest in conservation, close their doors. Their projects were aimed at offering the relevant environmental education and training, set to improve the general environmental knowledge, which they did splendidly during many of their schools' programme's. Known for their successful collaborations with stakeholders and industries, their work made a visible difference. Their role focusing on conservation areas, included fencing, the eradication of alien vegetation, monitoring of fauna and flora, rezoning of land, tourism and education.
Upon moving to the PetroSA Reserve, a mutualistic partnership developed between the trust and PetroSA over the past three years, focusing efforts mostly on hosting educational outreaches to local schools, whilst offering students practical experiences in presenting these projects. Thanks to this, the trust mentored close to 40 students in the past 10 years, most of which graduated with exceptional marks. The team also earned their fair share of conservation accolades
Upon speaking of their experiences, the interns said that the experience gained through the trust, has proved to be invaluable. Moreover, they all agreed that they consider their friendships made at the trust, being the lasting kind. The team also claimed their fair share of accolades including a Community Award (Eco-logic Awards, SABC 3); Wessa Western Cape Regional Award, PMR Diamond Award and a GCBR Award.
Manager of the trust, Aiden Beck, said that he considered the students who have been part of the trust, a family and this notion was indeed corroborated by all present.
Former trustee and well-known conservationist Fred Orban lauded the Pinnacle Conservation Trust team for their professionalism. He also commended them on their educational outreaches, which he believes will prove instrumental in raising the next generation of conservation conscious youth.
Former students and trustees of the Pinnacle Conservation Trust reminisced at a farewell event last week. The trust, due to funding challenges, had to close their doors after 10 years. In front seated are trustees Richard Walton (left) and Freb Orban (right). Former interns from left (seated) Kay, Vivien, Alexia and Kelly. From left (standing) Amber, former trust manager Aiden Beck, Sarel, Christopher, Louise Luterek (trustee) and Andries.