About FOFS

 FRIENDS OF  THE  FIELD  AND  STUDY (FOFS)

Assoc. Incorporated under Sect. 21

Reg. No. 2006/029242/08 – Tax No. 1039/169/84/0 – PBO No. 930025105

P.O. Box 65433, Benmore. 2010 – Cell. 082 784 1933

Our mandate is to protect, promote and preserve the Park

Thanks to Edward, Nathan and Friedman FOFS was registered in 2006 at the request of the community when the Council took over the finances of all Recreation Centres. At that time the Park was part of the Rec. Centre

Our income is derived from membership, donations and sponsorships.

Three years ago Council separated the Rec. Centre and the Park and they became two entities. The Park being managed by Joburg City Parks. The guards and the full time worker  were removed. The Park is now overseen by us. We request cutting, pruning and with Facility Maintenance and Depot 406 Morningside, do our best to keep the Park looking good.

We have upgraded the toilets, brought in the Dinosaur, had the braais fixed – Thank you Randburg Rotary – got more benches and bins and continually try to keep the Park maintained  and improve it where we can. We monitor it on a daily basis and welcome public input and membership.

Since 2006 we have:

Opposed an attempt by the Joburg Property Co. (JPC) to sell off the stable land for high density housing.

Opposed an attempt by JPC to completely change the ambience of the Park by turning it into a formal Park. This meant bulldozing the natural grass up, formal lawns, paths, fountains, statues, flower beds, 3 dams etc. etc. at enormous expense. Due to the opposition the plan was withdrawn.

Opposed the construction of a helipad at Forest Farm.

Opposed the Hurlingham PicknPay on environmental grounds. After years in Tribunals and legal hearings two attenuation dams were included in the final plan. There is a long history to this.

We have highlighted their shortcomings re. Stormwater runoff.

FOREST FARM

This facility on the Nichol Highway owns the entire Western bank over the river up to Italtile. A small 6hect. Portion  on the North boundary belongs to Parks. Apart from the buildings along the highway the rest of the land is unkempt bush with a community of squatters. This provides pedestrian access to the Nichol Highway.

We have negotiated with them for years regarding the development of their land ourselves and with the Jhb Property Co.

The first plan was an encompassing Precint Plan to develop a mixed use development encompassing both E & W banks,  that was mutually beneficial to all.    We and JPC produced plans for them .  They pulled out of it.

The second plan.  To expand and upgrade the existing facility down to the river on their side and to re-locate Forest Town School on the other half. We were shown their plans and made suggestions to them. Almost a year later this was abandoned.

The third plan. At the beginning of 2012 we checked with them again and were told that they have now decided not to sell or develop their land but to  activate it ie. Lease the land for activities. They have recently abandoned this idea as well and intend to improve their existing facilities. The unkempt W. Bank remains.

SECURITY

This W. bank of unkempt land is a security risk to the Park and the surrounding neighbourhood.  With the help of the Parkmore Community Forum we negotiated  a “no pay” Agreement with ADT to patrol the Park 24/7 with emergency reaction for the safety of the Park users. We thank ADT for this. There are boards up in the Park with various numbers.

We are looking for Corporate funding for a permanent guard at the Entrance to control access and lock the gates at night or perhaps ADT will extend their service to us.

OUTREACH PROGRAMMES

Every year FOFS hosts a group of pensioners from Alex to a day out with lunch and entertainment and a group of children from Alex either to a day  picnic at the Park or we host a boys and girls soccer team and join with Rotary for a soccer day.  We thank Hurlingham PicknPay for their  support of these days.

We supply sewing kits to the sewing class for unemployed women at the Rec. Centre every year.