Garden revamp to attract community

2019-07-02 06:00
Ketch Park has been restored and wildlife have made its way back.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Ketch Park has been restored and wildlife have made its way back.PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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With the idea of bringing the community together in mind, a couple who do not want to be named have put in the hard work to revitalise a once forgotten park in Sun Valley.

Ketch Park was one of the local parks identified by a community group as a site that needed a bit of love and a makeover.

“It started off in January last year. A group was formed – Sun Valley Park Friends – and they were going to revamp all the parks in the area. The idea is that the group would come, pull some weeds out and just clean up the area as often as they can,” says one of the Sun Valley residents who is committed to restoring Ketch Park.

While the duo were not part of the group at the time, they saw it fit to begin work on Ketch Park which was overgrown and infested with alien plants and devil thorns, making it impossible for people to visit, run or play on the grass, carefree.

In June last year, they wanted to increase their efforts and called on the community to sponsor a gardener to assist them. One community member reached into their pocket to hire Ian Chapotera for one day, and soon other residents followed suit and donated enough money to sponsor Chapotera for 30 days, which allowed for the use of his services until October.

While the garden is still a work in progress, Sue Bell, another resident of the neighbourhood sang their praises for the work done so far. “They’ve really done such a lovely job of attracting geese and Guinea fowls to the garden. When we get visitors they always look out at the park and say how wonderful it is.”

Explaining her motivation for keeping up the work, the resident says: “We do it because we want to give something back to the community, to the children, to the birdlife.”

Since the start of their revamp they have planted water-wise plants; added rock gardens, which were donated and have created rainwater gardens. These gardens draw water from the overflown rain tanks from nearby residents through pipes that have been installed underground and create a wetland for the specific plants that are in that area of the park.

In addition, a mechanism has been put in place to ensure that excess water in the wetland is directed to other plants nearby that need it.

She continues: “When we’re done with park then we can start having community events there. We want to get people back in our parks.”

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