A community intiative that wants to put families and fun back into northern suburbs’ parks held a clean-up campaign at the Tielman Marais Park in Boston at the weekend. There was also yoga and a fun obstacle course for pets.
Called Park Flow, the concept took root last year when Lizet Verwoerd started hosting yoga sessions and picnics – known as Yum Yum Park Yoga events – at places such as the Amandel Close Dam and Kenridge Park.
This year she shifted her focus to the Tielman Marais Park after meeting with the The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP).
Some 30 people gathered at the Boston park on Saturday, determined to not only have fun but also to clean up a canal that runs through the park.
The group included residents and representatives from the Voortrekker Road City Improvement District (VCRID), the Tygerberg Animal Hospital (TAH), Boston Spirit and the Boston Neighbourhood Watch, GTP and Mould Empower Serve (MES).
The Tielman Marais Park is a pedestrian route for students and workers moving between the Bellville public transport interchange and their place of work and study.
This park is a green buffer between Boston and the commercial strip along Durban Road.
However, it is also a refuge for drug users and the homeless.
Ms Verwoerd said Park Flow was about finding alternative ways of transforming public parks.
”The core intention is to clean up our neighbourhood parks while promoting community participation,” she said.
Boston Neighbourhood Watch (BNW) chairman Stephan Fourie said the watch provided security at Park Flow events.
“Our presence at such public meetings became critical, given the presence of increasing numbers of drug addicts using the park, who also rob especially soft targets like school children and elderly to finance their habits”
The group ended off the day by picking and sorting waste from the canal. They collected nine bags in total, which they sorted into rubbish and recyclable products.
“We want to promote public space use and encourage the community to come together in an effort revitalise our city’s forgotten spaces,” said Ross Alexander of GTP.
“It was interesting to learn about recycling and how to make eco bricks as a way to up-cycle plastic waste,” added MES worker George William, who was part of the clean-up team. Park Flow plans to hold another event at the park next month.