People flock to ‘Gem of Wembley’

2018-10-17 15:53
Friends of Wylie Park chairperson Rupert Hammond (left) and Upper Wembley Residents Association secretary Leo Quayle enjoy the beauty of Wylie Park.

Friends of Wylie Park chairperson Rupert Hammond (left) and Upper Wembley Residents Association secretary Leo Quayle enjoy the beauty of Wylie Park. (Chelsea Pieterse)

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Deemed “The Gem of Wembley” by locals, Pietermaritzburg’s Wylie Park is undergoing a facelift with the help of the local community.

Residents and nature lovers have rallied together to form ‘Friends of Wylie Park’, working together to ensure the park is safe, clean and family-friendly.

Until recently, some residents had complained of criminals using the park as a hiding spot or escape route, with some saying they did not feel safe walking alone in the area.

However, Friends of Wylie Park have sought to make the park more secure for its users and keep it as “a pleasant and natural environment for walkers and others seeking a calm and tranquil location”.

Friends of Wylie Park chairperson Rupert Hammond and Upper Wembley Residents Association secretary Leo Quayle spoke to The Witness last week about their plans for the park, and the measures they have taken so far to keep the area clean and safe.

Hammond said the Friends of Wylie Park is an association of community members with around 30 donors contributing to the upkeep of the grounds.

He said the donors helped pay for a permanent gardener who tends to the park five days a week.

“The municipality has a tractor and a mower and they come in when the larger areas of lawn need to be cut. They also provide refuse bags,” said Hammond.

Quayle said the community had come together in other ways to help, such as putting up and cleaning dustbins in the park and painting and maintaining fences.

“Every Sunday, there are just people everywhere. More people are coming in for photoshoots, there are more joggers and dog walkers,” said Quayle.

Quayle and Hammond added that the Upper Wembley Residents Association has contracted Magma Security and Investigations to have a car patrol the area full time. “They patrol within the residential areas and the park. The gates get locked at night to stop people from just accessing it at night,” said Hammond.

The two added that residents were also donating various flowering and other plants to add to the park’s collection.

To learn more about upcoming projects by Friends of Wylie Park and to find out more about the association, e-mail rhammond.bush@gmail.com

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  wylie park

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