Garden is for all

2017-11-21 06:00
Keyaan Hooper started the garden project three years ago.PHOTOS: aishah cassiem

Keyaan Hooper started the garden project three years ago.PHOTOS: aishah cassiem

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A passionate community worker from Grassy Park is calling on locals to help him turn an unused piece of land into a beautiful community garden.

With the go ahead of the City of Cape Town, Keyaan Hooper started his gardening initiative three years ago in hopes of creating a peaceful space for residents.

The property considered for the garden is in 1st Avenue, Grassy Park and located between Perth Road and Vienna Way.

“This property is zoned as an open space class 2 and is under the management of the City’s parks department. There are servitudes and other reticulation services on this property that require random access. There has been interest and suggestions for the use of this property but with no success,” he says.

“Over the years the property has been used by thieves to access residential properties for housebreaking and malicious damage to property. Vagrants were also starting to use the property as a haven and recreational spot.

“Residents applied for the property to be fenced off, which was done a few years ago. This did not resolve the matter all together; houses were still being burgled and electricity cables were still being stolen.”

Hooper and a few neighbours suggested using the property as a food garden, but after investigating they found there would be too much logistical red tape while the open space “needed immediate attention”.

“It was then suggested that we grow a recreational garden. This garden would be created and maintained by the community and assisted by the council. It would consist of various trees, shrubs and flowering plants, as well as a lawn and playing area,” he says.

“I wanted to change this space into a recreation area for our people as this garden would add value to the area and the community. It will also add a sense of security and would be created with social upliftment, poverty alleviation and family orientation in mind.

“It will be a place where families can spend much-needed quality time and have outdoor interaction with loved ones and ­nature.”

Hooper says he has already started planting trees and flowers on the property.

“We are in the baby stage of this project and it will take some time before it is accomplished. With more hands on board, it could go faster than what we expected. This garden will not only be a safe space but it will also attract animals like birds and bees. People in our area don’t have many gardens and don’t get to see the beauty of it,” he says.

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