Come park off, invites City of Joburg
FORGEt RUSty SwINGS and dusty ground, the City of Joburg has created a masterpiece of a park to get the community outdoors and active.
Criminals who have colonised City of Joburg parks have been warned: Residents are taking full ownership and won’t be friendly to the bad guys. At least that is according to the chairperson of the Section 79 Community Development, Councillor Meshack van Wyk. He was speaking at the official opening of the brand-new Short Road Park in Norwood in Region E. He invited learners and residents to take full ownership of the R2 million facility.
“This is your park. Make sure criminals are not welcome here. It’s a safe space for toddlers, learners and their parents,” said Cllr van Wyk.
Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo, responsible for creating liveable outdoor green spaces for its residents, unveiled the Short Road Park in Norwood. The Park measures about one hectare in size and forms part of the Greater Paterson Park Linear Precinct that runs close to the Louis Botha Rapid Bus Transit route.
City Parks is responsible for the maintenance of over 3 000 parks and open spaces across the City of Joburg’s seven regions.
The new recreation centre was previously a derelict and neglected space, prone to illegal dumping and graffiti and occupied by displaced people as well as invasive plant species. It has now been transformed to provide an eco-lung in the heart of the planned mixed-use residential development.
The park re-stitches the old with the new, and has retained the majestic canopy of established trees to complement the green carpet of lawn and colourful flowerbeds and playgrounds. It boasts a free-to-use outdoor gym, strategically placed solar flood lights, stormwater-harvested irrigation channels, rubberised play areas and equipment especially designed to enhance the cognitive skills set of inquisitive and energetic toddlers.
The park will act as a catalyst to revive healthy living in Norwood. The stormwater from the main arterials leading into Norwood will be harvested and recycled to keep the park lush and green, particularly to address water scarcity in the city.
The colourful park includes benches, braai areas and picnic spots that will serve as sought-after meeting points for residents, businesses and the crèche adjacent to the facility. The project empowered work for 12 local beneficiaries during the construction phase.
Park safety is of paramount importance to City Parks and the Zoo. MMC for Community Development Cllr Nonhlanhla Sifumba also attended the launch.
"It requires communities to become closely involved in weekly activations to ensure Short Road Park is kept in a safe, clean and pristine condition and is resilient to negative external elements." She added that the transformation of this previously undeveloped space into a haven for relaxation, fun and tranquility will bring residents together and will go a long way in building social harmony, ownership and a healthy community.