Bringing nature back to our parks

A group of residents around some Helderbeg parks (Picardy, Lyon, Vegelegen and Laborie) have been working to “bring nature” back into the park.

This area was formally a grassed area which was mowed by the council with a row of exotic pine trees, coming to the end of their life.

Many indigenous flowering bulbs were mowed down as soon as the beauty of their flowers appeared.

Barbara Stock is the visionary, and has worked endlessly to bring about a change to this area. She has a deep passion for nature, an exceptional knowledge of indigenous plants and bird life.

Barbara is not afraid to get her hands dirty and dig deep into the soil, bringing compost with its rich fertile offerings back to a mostly barren area.

In the year and a half of this project these are the benefits I have noticed:

* Two good men have been employed helping them to provide for their families.

* The community of people around the park have gotten to know each other better.

* Bees, birds, insect life are now present in this stretch of land, which will improve as the plants grow and seed.

* Those of us who are more actively involved with the council have developed a relationship with the staff employed by the municipality, giving us a better idea on how our tax money is spent in this area.

As there are only a few of us involved we encourage others to take a walk through the park, enjoy the progress and think of how you may want to input into this project for the future.

Some ideas:

* Lending us your gardener for a day to help with pulling out kikuyu grass in the beds.

* Sending indigenous plants in the spring, autumn and winter months.

* Financial aid to pay the two men working.

* Donations toward the jungle gym, borehole, bench, exercise equipment.

* Ideas for monthly fun get- together in the park as residents.

We are custodians of the earth – think of the beauty in 100 years to come, of the sun shining across a centre of indigenous yellowwood trees, a park where plant and animal life abound and make people happy, including our children and grandchildren.

Call Barbara Stock at 021 851 9933, 076 496 5873 or Sally-Ann Wagner at 083 652 0592 if you would like to help.