Many years ago the museum tried to negotiate the use of the Amalinda Nature Reserve for outsourced environmental education initiatives realising that the relevant authorities were not committed to the long term management of a proclaimed open space.
The reserve was home to a thriving fish hatchery (one of the top in the country at the time), a plethora of large mammal species and a unique refuge for a lot of the indigenous plant and animal species that have occurred in the region for thousands of years. Closely situated to many hundreds of school learners, particularly from more impoverished schools, it was ideally placed to service an experience for many learners who would have to travel hundreds of kilometers to gain access to other nature reserves with similar game and flora.
When the transition of Cape Nature proclaimed reserves was handed over to the then Eastern Cape Parks (now the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency) the Amalinda Nature Reserve was ‘abandoned’ and treated as a public open space by all authorities concerned and not as a provincially gazetted reserve with due legislation implemented to protect the biodiversity of the area. This alone was a traversity when the pressure to protect open spaces was becoming even more pertinent with massive peri-urban development.