July 2015 News update

MAINTENANCE – We continue to replace missing planks on the Jungle Gym to keep it safe for the children to play on. This is costly as wood is expensive.

TREES – Many of our iconic big gums and wattles are dead, diseased or dying  and an expert opinion is that those that could fall over or drop branches should come down. We have a Tree Surgeon who will cut them selectively – some will be trimmed and stay – and for every tree that comes down he will plant a sizable indigenous tree in its place.

We  held a freezing  Tree  Celebration under the trees with a talk by Prof. Revil  Mason on  findings in the area and I gave a short talk on the history of the Park. 12 brave souls arrived and despite the cold and thanks to Pick”nPay’s contribution of sandwiches,  we had a good time and honoured the trees.

PLAY AREA  – I have had requests for something else for the children to play on so as an experiment I have sunk a row of tyres into the field. A young user told me it wasn’t enough so it will change next week.  I was also told by a mother that sinking them flat at angles was good for them to jump through so we will try that as well.  If it all proves a success they will be sunk properly and painted different colours.  Any further ideas, please let me know.

SPRUIT  DAY– This is a community effort the length of the Braamfontein Spruit.  FOFS  has hopefully got St. Stithians  to bring some boys to do a river clean up and volunteers from the PCA  we hope are going to come and give  Dino the Dinosaur a colourful repaint.

SAINTS  VISIT  –  80 teenage boys from St. Stithians came to the Park for a walk about to get to know it. Most didn’t even know it existed.  I gave them a talk on the History of the Park, it’s Heritage status and some of the main features and problems we have.  They were then given a project – What would you do with this land.

Prof. Revil Mason and I then went to Saints the next day for their presentations – 21 in all . They overcame a last minute Eskom blackout and we  heard some very interesting ideas.  I feel we must listen to this generation of the future and FOFS and the Joburg Prop. Co. will be having discussions soon, looking at these ideas. To get them into the outdoors they need something TO DO. Watch this space.

CRIME – No crime has taken place in the Park as far as I am aware. If you are a victim let me know!

RAIDS – We had two raids on the West Bank, one by ADT  and SAPS two weeks ago in the middle of a freezing  night. Two were arrested for not having their Passport/Entry papers. 13 phones “disappeared”.  Barely a week later on a Sunday evening JMPD came in from the Italtile end and burnt their food.  I find this unacceptable. I understand Bylaws have to  be  enforced but burning belongings and food NO.   No-one has an answer to the solution – I have attended meetings with Council, JMPD, RA’s. Pikitup etc.  They are not going to disappear in a puff of smoke.  Let us not forget they are human beings like us.

Rose Johnson

082 784 1933 – rose@fofs.co.za

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