Tag Archives: Nature Kenya

Biodiversity

In line with the International day of biodiversity celebrations, the Friends of City Park organized a biodiversity survey presentation on 6 May 2010, at the National museums of Kenya. The aim was to share with other friends the out come of the survey work carried out in June 2009 to February 2010.

Friends turned up in amazing numbers all looking forward to the outcome and get an understanding of City Park’s biodiversity and above all be part of the celebrations. The day was a success with the results realizing a total number of 988 species that have been identified so far. This includes plants, insects, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Considering City Park’s small size, and it’s location within an urban setting, facing all manner of pressure, Nairobi City Park is rich in biodiversity, hence the Friends tireless efforts to conserve it.

We welcome you to join the Friends and help us in the conservation of this unique natural habitat for swallow tails, lizards, Sykes and birds. And together CELEBRATE CITY PARK’S BIODIVERSITY.

Contact us: [email protected]

PUBLIC NOTICE

Published in  the Nation

Call for help

The Friends of City Park

The Friends of City Park (FoCP) is a group of concerned residents that came together in 1996 with the purpose of conserving and preserving City Park for educational and recreational use. The group is composed of people from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds who devote their time for the good of City Park. The Friends of City Park (FoCP), in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya and the City Council of Nairobi have been instrumental in the recent gazettement of 60 hectares of City Park as a protected area by the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture (vide Gazette notice supplement No 59 and Legal notice No 130 dated 4th September 2009). The gazettement and publication of the notice was achieved through the sustained efforts of Friends of City Park (FoCP) over a number of years. The FoCP is a project of Nature Kenya.

FoCP Objective: Enhancing the health, wealth and beauty of the park

In order for the FoCP to achieve their objective we wish to carry out and continue on  a number of activities that will build on the gazettement of the park and consolidate its value to the public as a recreational, conservation and educational area of considerable importance to the citizens of Nairobi, Kenyans and visitors in general.

Band stand

Nairobi City Park

The park was originally started as a zoological garden in 1921 before it became a public park in 1925.   The Park is composed of open recreational areas, indigenous forest, historical sites, including the Murumbi memorial, adjacent cemetery, gardens and walkways. Pilot biodiversity surveys being undertaken at present have yielded some exciting discoveries and identified 776 species, including several Kenyan plant endemics of enormous conservation value.

World war 1 cemetery

Activities

  • The monthly guided walks are gaining popularity.
  • We have stated quarterly litter clean up exercises in the Park.
  • Tree planting
  • Organized school walks in the park
  • Publicity for the Park
  • Biodiversity surveys are ongoing
  • Regular bird watching, just to mention a few.

Education session in the park

All this activities require time, dedication and resources. We aspire to do more for the Park and continue the work we have started however resources are limited. We call upon well wishers to come to our rescue. We welcome your donations

OR

Register as Friends in any of the following categories.

Membership

FoCP Individual….. …KES. 1,000

Full friends….. ………..KES. 2,000 (Includes Nature Kenya Membership)

Guardian Friend………KES. 5,000

Institutions……………..KES. 5,000

Corporate guardian…. KES. 20,000

Note: The currency is in Kenya shillings

All donations will be acknowledged. Help us to achieve more for Nairobi City Park.

For more information on how you can help, contact us on:  [email protected]

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Fun time.

You will hear their innocent shrieks of laughter, echoing in the background. Their feet “tapatapa” on the hard surface. Its fun, it’s exciting its play time at the park. The noise, the charter the fun all combined. They take turns to swing on what is left, the only play item in the play ground, however this does not deter them from enjoying

This is the state of Nairobi City Park children’s play ground, not much but they have learned the spirit of sharing. The once triple swing that adorned the play area, only one is intact, with a sack to sit on. Its uncomfortable, I tried it, but they ignore the discomfort as long as they have there share of fun. The parents/ guardians will stand aside or sit on the hard ground and watch them as they play.

They have devised there own form of nature fun. The old climbers (Lianas) and creepers too can be used. They run around for hours, moving from climber to climber. “Tarzan” in the making? It beats me.

We can change all this, together we can upgrade this space just for them, the childhood is so short, let’s help them enjoy every moment of it. Friends of City Park need your help to bring this space into a form that the children will appreciate more, that is safe for them and environment friendly.

I envision an area where the children can play freely, there parents/guardians watch them in comfort or involve there participation, an area for story telling, a park within a park just for our children.

Friends of City Park is a project of Nature Kenya, and consists of a group of volunteers whose main objective is to conserve Nairobi City Park for perpetuity.

Email: [email protected]

We need your support and contributions in this initiative.

Oh no, City Park not a waste Park!

A recent visit to Nairobi City Park revealed that people are dumping wastes of all kind in the park.. This can be attributed to inadequate waste bins and lack of proper waste management. If no proper and urgent interventions are taken, then City Park will be a litter Park and that would scare away people who would love to visit and have a nice time in the park. It will also choke growing vegetation and end up affecting the ecological systems of the park.

Waste dumped in one of the areas inside the Park

Do you know of any cost effective solution that can be put in place to check this environmental polution?

Please share with us your experiences. You can also help us by donating to buy litter bins for this unique park as a short term intervention. A healthy environment also means a healthy people.

Contact Friends of City Park at [email protected]

Experience Nairobi City Park on 14th November 2009

The rare white Jacarada tree invites you to see it at Nairobi City Park on 14th November 2009 while enjoying our guided nature walk. The walk starts at 9.00 to noon and we shall meet at Bowling Green Restaurant car park before we start the walk. Remember if you miss it this time, you have to wait this time next year.

The rare white Jacaranda tree. It is found no where else in Nairobi but only in Nairobi City Park .

and to have fun

Pupils from Waldorf School enjoying themselves

while watching among others

Vervet monkey with a young one

See you then.

Contact us:

[email protected]

Mobile: 0710-388 642

Telcom Wireless: 020-2517 082

Feeding the monkeys in City Park- not always good!

The Sykes and Vervet monkeys at City Park are a joy to watch. Every time you visit the park, you will always find them happily jumping up and down the trees and on the open grounds waiting for people to feed them, always curious what they may be carrying for them. To me this is a very worrying trend. People should always be cautious when feeding the monkeys and other wildlife at large in protected areas.

You should remember that what you feed might not necessarily be good for the wildlife. Your food may include spices, food additives and preservatives that the animals may find palatable but may have negative effect on their health. When you condition them to be reliant on human for feeding, you are depriving them of their natural instincts for fetch food by themselves. In case they don’t get food from you for a period of time, their conditioned instinct (you may be the culprit) will force them to raid for food in the neighbouring market and homesteads and thereby exposing them to likely injuries from attacks by the owners and sometimes this attacks can be fatal. (Can you can imagine if they stray out of the City Park forest and they become hungry? or snatching food from your kids?)

The most likely cause of this behaviour by people in the park is due to lack of recreational facilities that could keep both the kids and their guardians busy.

Sykes in Nairobi City Park forest

So instead of feeding the monkeys you can support by donating to improve the infrastructure in the park. Feeding the monkeys should be done only during special circumstances

We need your Support!

Help save our Nairobi City Park monkeys!

If you support to improve the infrastructure, you assist the monkeys too-including our Sykes, to lead a normal life and you also improve their health to live a little longer.

You can contact us at [email protected]

New Biodiversity Findings in Nairobi City Park!

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!

BioBlitz

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

  1. Flora 383
  2. Butterflies 116
  3. Birds 124
  4. Mammals 23
  5. Insects 118
  6. 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.

Join Us! Support us! and help save Nairobi City Park

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]

Family Fun day at Nature Kenya!!

Nature Fair

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.

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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!

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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.

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Overheard!.

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

Join Us

Help the Friends of City Park. Your donation will be used to reach the wider general public and improvement of City Park infrastructure for the benefit of you, your kids and generations to come.

You can visit our website www.naturekenya.org/nairobicitypark.htm or contact us on [email protected],org

Victory for Conservationists!

 Publication of legal notice- Nairobi City Park

Land speculators  eyeing plots in City Park were dealt a major blow when the Minister of State for National Heritage and Culture declared the remaining 60 hectares of City Park as a protected area in a legal Notice No. 130 appearing in Kenya Gazette Supplement No.59 dated 4th September 2009.

The notice read as follows:

LEGAL NOTICE NO. 130

THE NATIONAL MUSEUMS AND HERITAGE ACT

(No 6 of 2006)

CONFIRMATION OF SITES AND MONUMENTS

“IN EXERCISE of powers conferred by section 25 (3) of the National Museums and Heritage Act, the Minister of State for National Heritage and Culture confirms the monuments, protected areas and buildings set out in schedule, which he considers of historical and archeological interest to be sites and monuments within the meaning of the act.

SCHEDULE

CITYPARK

An area of forest land L.R. NO 209/6559/6 measuring approximately sixty(60) hectares and set out in part development plan No. CPD and ARCH/FP/20/111/97 known as City Park in Parklands area in the city of Nairobi.”

The above legal notice is in confirmation of Gazette Notice No. 9621 dated 17th September 2008 that read:

“IN EXERCISE of powers confirmed by section 25 (1) (a) of the National Museums and Heritage Act, the Minister for National Heritage and Culture in consultation with the National Museums declares the area specified in the schedule to be a protected area within the meaning of the act.

any objection to the declaration to the declaration shall be loged with the Minister within two (2) months form the date of this notice.

SCHEDULE

CITY PARK

An area of forest land L.R. No. 209/6559/6 measuring approximately sixty(60) hectares and set out in part development plan No. CPD and ARCH/FP/20/111/97 known as City Park in Parklands area Nairobi.

Gazette Notice No. 6313 of 1997 is revoked.

Dated 17th September 2008.”

 The Friends of City Park

The Friends of City Park have been fighting for the protection of the remaining 60 hectares since 1996 for the benefit of all Kenyans and not just a few. The original size of City Park, was approximately 91 hecatres but over the years, the custodians of the original 91 hectares, entrusted to them in 1932 allocated some parcels of the land to  land developers and speculators to the detriment of the public. The Friends still need to be vigilant. The Parks needs to be rehabilitated for the benefit of the public and to attain their vision- Enhancing the health, wealth and beauty of Nairobi.

Join Us! Support us! and help save Nairobi City Park

The Friends of City Park need your support. Please join  us to preserve and rehabilitate City Park. We are currently developing a plan to restore the park and protect the forest.

You can contact us at [email protected]