Tag Archives: National Museums of Kenya
Pilot biodiversity surveys undertaken during the month of August 2009 in Nairobi City Park have yielded some very exciting discoveries. The surveys were commissioned by Friends of City Park-a project of Nature Kenya. An individual tree of Euphorbia cussonoides was found growing near the Bowling Green restaurant. It’s the first to be recorded anywhere since the demise of this plant’s only previously documented population- on Ngong Hills and near Thika.
The species will be propagated to increase its population. That is one of the wonders of City Park. It never ceases to amaze! Two species of bees that are potentially undescribed have also been found! The surveys were done by scientists from National Museums of Kenya. Many thanks to the National Museums of Kenya team of scientists for a job well done.
Considering the surveys were done during the dry weather, this is an indicator of what may be expected if it was to be carried out during a wet season. (Nairobi is experiencing an uncommon dry weather at this time). There are plans to undertake another survey during the rainy season which is expected to yield even more amazing results!
A Bio-Blitz is also planned during the month of November 2009. This will involve students from the surrounding schools and a couple of volunteers. Watch this space during the coming month of November for details and updates
City Park, considering its size and as an urban forest, it has enormous potential as a living laboratory for students of environmental studies. Same with the scientist from the National Museums of Kenya- they are a living library! The following is a summary of the species diversity documented so far
Taxa surveyed. Number of Species
- Flora 383
- Butterflies 116
- Birds 124
- Mammals 23
- Insects 118
- Reptiles 12
This are just some wonders of the park located in the heart of Nairobi. Currently a user friendly version of the findings is being compiled by the team that took the surveys.
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The Friends of City Park need your support to make the next survey a success.
Your donation will be used for logistics, publicity and educating the public on the importance of City Park-enhancing the health, wealth and beauty of Nairobi and by so doing ensure the perpetuity of the park.
You can contact us at [email protected]
The weekend is closing on fast. The dates are 5th and 6th September. The word in the air is the Nature fair. This event is being organised by Nature Kenya. The objective being to inform the public the link between community and conservation, provide information on environment and conservation and for the public to understand and appreciate Nature. The fair also was to celebrate the International Vulture awareness day and not forgetting it will be a family fun weekend. Nature Friends of City Park being a project of Nature Kenya is participating and telling the public about ourselves- who we are, what we do and what is our objectives.
The D-day has arrived. Saturday 7.30 am. Every stand is busy setting up their details, Friends of City Park not being an exception. The Friends of City Park stand is very well visible from a distance with a board and a banner illustrating our vision- enhancing the health, wealth and beauty of Nairobi . By 8.00 am are set up and ready. 9.00 am the official opening time for visitors- The first visitors start streaming in; the air is full of excitement. The question in people’s mind- how will be the attendance? By noon, the place was full of visitors and much exited on what they have heard and seen from the exhibition. Some of the activities were guided nature walks, cultural dance and drama, painting, acrobatic shows, films, nature talks, spelling bees and not forgetting Bouncing castle and face painting for the Kids! The same events were repeated on the next day- Sunday.
Our stand attracted a good number of visitors and over 100 people recorded an interest in our next month Nairobi City Park guided walk! Hey, you don’t want to miss this one. Will you? The walk will start at 9.00 am to 12.30 pm on 10th October. If you miss it, I will update on this site.
The cultural dancers and acrobats were a scene not forgotten easily- they were fantastic!
Reflecting on the preparations, all were nervous on during the first day before the first visitors came in. Though confident, were asking ourselves- how do the public view the policy on open spaces? Urban forests and parks? But surprisingly the public is very much aware of the importance on open green spaces in urban areas and we got a lot of encouragement to continue informing the public on the importance of Nairobi City Park and its benefits. The sad part is that most of Nairobi residents were not aware the park entry is free. This meant we have a lot to do to educate the public about City Park.
We had two groups of people one enjoying the outing and the other one enjoying and at the same time moaning of emptying of their wallets! Guess who? Yes you are right! -Parents. Kids really enjoyed the goodies on sale during the show bought by their parents/guardian whereas the parents/guardian would be telling the kids they have had enough of goodies but not telling them the actual -they are getting out of cash!!.
One of the conversations went like this:
Father: Son, I think you have had enough
Son: Dad, but I have just started. You promised me today is a family fun day and the goodies are a part of the package you know
Father: Then, why don’t we go again to watch the cultural dancers?
Son: That’s a great idea dad. Let me get an ice cream then I can enjoy it while watching the dancers.
Father: Mmmm,(hesitating) do you know too much ice cream is not good for you?
Son: Well I had taken only one before and this one won’t do any harm
Father:(changing tact’s) Now tell me what have you taken so far.
Son: Cookies, hotdog, soda and some popcorn
Father: Now, then it’s a good idea you join other kids at the bouncing castle
Son: But dad ice cream first before( dad cuts in)
Father: It’s a family day and you need to join other kids before the fair comes to and end!
The kid had lost the wits game and we could see the dad smiling as the kid went to join the other kids to bounce up and down. Well its one way of burning those calories.
I too am signing off. It was great of you reading me. See you next time
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