Come park off, in­vites City of Joburg

Vuk'uzenzele - - Localggeonveerranlment -

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.

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