Park being improved for all

2015-11-10 06:00
Palmboom Road Park is getting an upgrade to make it more user-friendly.  PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Palmboom Road Park is getting an upgrade to make it more user-friendly. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Palmboom Road Park in Newlands is undergoing an upgrade to make it more accessible and user-friendly.

A number of improvements are planned for the park, including the repainting of all park equipment, installation of rubber matting under the merry-go-round and the replacement of rubber bumpers on the see-saws.

A new gate will be erected to replace the old and rusted gate which is no longer safe or secure. Parks staff will also trim the vegetation and conduct a general clean-up of the park.

Palmboom is a very popular and well-used park, resulting in wear and tear of the infrastructure. The park is mainly used by residents and child minders who bring babies and toddlers to play there.

Ward councillor Ian Iversen provided funds from the current ward allocation budget for the upgrades. All the work is expected to be finished by June next year and will cost R32 000.

Work is already underway and the muddy footpath has been changed into a concrete walkway, making it more accessible for residents. The old footpath was potholed and slippery, so it had to be improved. The resurfacing will prevent park users from slipping and falling.

The installation of the hard surface and rubber matting under the play equipment will restrict injuries to children who play at the park.

The existing entrance gate is rusted and needs to be replaced so as to provide a secure and safe means for access control.

Belinda Walker, mayoral committee member for community services and special projects, says City parks recognises the important role that public open spaces play in the physical and psychological well-being of residents, and especially children.

“We want to see parks include more spaces for active and passive recreation and sport to take place. These spaces will have a twofold benefit: They will draw more residents to the park, which increases security, and they will encourage healthy and active lifestyles.

“Parks provide for inclusivity, social interaction and the integration of communities. We want our parks to provide safe, convenient and welcoming natural environments where children, their parents and the elderly can come together to socialise and celebrate important occasions. I am pleased to see how popular our parks and recreational spaces are among communities,” she says.

Walker adds that all parks are maintained to minimum maintenance standards. However, some parks pose more challenges than others due to weather conditions, overuse, vandalism and antisocial activities.

“The City relies heavily on the involvement of communities to assist with managing these facilities. Most of the City’s parks are well cared for by communities. Residents are encouraged to make use of the facilities as this is the best form of security,” she says.

Zoleka Faku, a childminder who was at the park when People’s Post visited, says she is happy about the upgrades.

“Some of the equipment was worn out and we are happy that it will be painted. This is a nice park and we love it so much. We are grateful that something is being done about it, making it more safe and user-friendly. Children really enjoy playing here and I believe they will play even more when they see that the equipment is being repaired and fixed,” she says.

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