Plant Rescue by Members where Development replaces Nature
Members of Operation Wildflower have been collecting thousands of indigenous plants belonging to hundreds of species from many sites for over sixty years. This Association was active for about fifty years, targeting areas where decisions to destroy wildlife as part of human progress had been taken but not yet executed. The Committee of the Association would obtain permission from landowners, developers and government departments to perform these rescue operations. Such authorisation used to be readily obtainable but not any longer. Changed circumstances regarding practicalities of visiting collection sites far from the cities contributed to the discontinuation of these exercises.
The gradual demise of the Association marks the end of an era during which interested citizens could participate in an orderly manner in removing plants from targeted sites and transplanting them at home. This way of growing plant interest and knowledge among members is lost, but at least the Site that formed part of it remains. For this Website started in June 2007 by kind permission of the Association's governing Committee was a direct extension of the purpose of growing plant interest and knowledge, as well as the love of and familiarity with nature.
The Website is continued at present along the same lines, adhering to the same objectves. People everywhere can contribute to nature conservation, saving the earth and its inhabitants, or whatever form describing the greater good of supporting biodiversity may take in a particular context. Nature had the concept of the global village in place from the start of first life on earth... better referred to in its case as the global garden, or Eden if that is appropriate to your viewpoint.
The destruction of Eden is totally a human endeavour. Fighting back is the same. This Site is but one of millions of small efforts by people planting trees, ridding the sea of plastic, reducing ignorance and a million other concerted efforts that help like-minded teams to join hands in recovering a decent earth for all its living species, also people.
The Editor and Associates of this Operation Wildflower Site are grateful to the Association that preceded it for providing the basis upon which this effort could be established. Development of the Site for approaching and reaching the vision as described is an ongoing endeavour involving changes for securing sustainability and enhancing usefulness to the users of the Site. Delineating the mission concerning a living target in itself indicates course changes over time for remaining relevant.
Anchoring the project to its roots, this story is concluded with material from the early outline of what Operation Wildflower used to do:
The Operation Wildflower Committee is continually searching for new sites where indigenous vegetation is to be destroyed. Negotiations with owners, developers and the relevant authorities are embarked upon wherever they may yield rescue opportunities for our members. Anyone aware of such an opportunity is requested to contact the chairman of Operation Wildflower.
This plant conservation project has given many members joyful hours in nature as well as establishing lifelong friendships and beautiful gardens. Why not join and participate in the rescue and garden enhancement weekends facilitated by our Association? If your garden is already nearly full, you may still want to walk in otherwise inaccessible veld covered in interesting vegetation and pick something small for nurturing in a container.
Only members in good standing and who agree to comply with all requirements are eligible to participate. To this end every member will apply formally to participate in a collection, submit information including ID, vehicle registration and contact details, apart from signing an undertaking to comply with all the rules agreed to between Operation Wildflower and the relevant authority, developer or land owner.
The strict control is necessary for reasons of minimum of disruption of nature and preserving biodiversity as entrenched in legislation, meeting the requirements of outside parties like developers involved in a collection, protecting the interests of private land owners, ensuring the best interests of local communities, ensuring the safety of all concerned during the actual collection activities and protecting the good standing of Operation Wildflower with regard to all actions and the diverse stakeholders relating to this and the organization's other operations.
No plant collected from here (or any Operation Wildflower exercise) may ever be sold. Members may only plant them on their own properties. There are, however, no restrictions as far as the use of seeds collected from rescued plants are concerned: Plants grown at home from the seeds of collected plants are not deemed to be affected by any restrictions from Operation Wildflower.