From vacant lot to ‘pocket park’

2014-08-09 00:00

AN inner-city bar in Durban has joined up with a local nursery to create a “pocket park” on a vacant downtown municipal plot.

And the Cool Runnings owners believe that since their creation of a little paradise on the verge next to their pub, all their neighbours have started to do “bits and pieces”.

Sue Derwent, whose partner Kevin Sparnon has run the pub for nearly two decades, said they are pushing the limit by greening the verges.

“A while back, we had initially started growing vegetables on our verge. This was successful because the veggies kept getting stolen,” she joked.

“We then moved on to herbs, which are still growing on the verge and which we use to cook meals sold on the premises.”

Derwent approached the municipality to upgrade an adjacent vacant plot in Rivertown (formerly Motortown) when they realised the International Union of Architecture World Congress would come to Durban, with a significant focus being on the area where the pub is located.

“I thought I could twist the city’s arm a bit quicker with the conference coming for us to establish a park on their property and it worked,” said Derwent.

They approached Hingham Nursery in Durban North to sponsor the plants to create what is known as the Cool Runnings/Hingham Nursery Pocket Park.

“Anyone can sit in the park. Hopefully, it will inspire others. Next, we hope to have benches erected,” said Derwent.

• jonathan.erasmus@witness.co.za

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