Greening proposed Chavonne Park upgrade

Dear Welgemoed Resident,

We would love your input on the design and planning of the proposed Chavonne Park upgrade.
Our aim is to transform the park into an imaginative, well-designed space, which will be responsive to the needs of each generation of our community. Your participation will not only help us understand how you and your family would like to use the space, but also ensure that you are happy with the outcome and will be committed to the park’s long-term maintenance and survival.
 
The attached questionnaire is the first stage of the engagement process. Your input will inform a preliminary landscape design, as well as design and playscape elements, which will be presented at a community meeting at the Tygerberg Nature Reserve Conference Centre at 14h00 on Saturday, 13 August 2022. 
 
The concept plan for Chavonne Park, which draws upon international best practices in urban park design, focuses on the four main functions of any public park: recreation; multi-generational spaces; biodiversity and culture.

The concept of a meadow garden has been chosen to reflect the “spirit of the place”. Chavonne Park is located on a seasonal hillside seep which makes it the ideal habitat for endangered Renosterveld flowering bulbs. Our 2021 no-mow project revealed vast swathes of several flowering bulb species, including +/-45 near threatened Fringe Grand Satinflower plants.
 
However, the park’s unique biodiversity potential should not be seen as conservation at the “expense” of park users. Rather, by improving biodiversity, we can enhance the park activities and restore the park’s lost soul. Most importantly perhaps, is how natural areas provide ideal play opportunities for children. Research shows that a natural environment and rich vegetation leads to a higher frequency and complexity of imaginative play. Our children need natural playscapes not “identikit” playgrounds made up of one-dimensional play equipment. The park in its current state may just as well have a sign saying to children: “Have fun…if you can.”

Kindly complete the questionnaire with your family by 30 June 2022. Please feel free to contact our WCID Greening director if you have any questions or wish to provide additional input via admin@welgemoedcid.co.za.

Researching and conceiving the proposed park upgrades required countless volunteer hours. This we undertook without hesitation, as we believe that the upgrades will significantly improve the day-to-day lives of our community. However, we need your active participation to ensure the success of the project, as active community involvement in a park project throughout the design cycle is more useful than only asking for views in the early stages.

Finally, as the bulk of the WCID budget is allocated to public safety services, we are dependent on the local community to get involved in the upgrade project in any small or big way. We will also seek corporate sponsorships from local business, investigate the possibility of City funding and host events in the park to raise funds. We hope that you will join us in this endeavour.

For more information or clarity, please contact me at  manager@welgemoedcid.co.za.

Warm regards 
Arndt Mittendorf

Comments

  • Elizabeth Ras
    22/06/2022 at 15:24

    Children do need some activities and equipment to develop their large muscles and the park is lacking that. Conservation is great, but it is after all a play area.

    • Louise Ferreira
      24/06/2022 at 08:43

      Dear Elizabeth, if you look at the questionnaire, you will see that there is a very big focus on recreational opportunities for children. Indeed, most of my research focussed on the different types of play and the international move in play therapy to what is called “natural playscapes”. The questionnaire is at pains to explain that improved biodiversity will enhance the different recreational opportunities we have identified. For example, meadow planting around picnic tables and park benches, as well as meadow planting around play areas with stepping stones (or even suspended hammocks over the meadow) so that meadow becomes part of the children’s play area and not a “no-go” area. Our difficulty in Chavonne is that it is very small. So we will have to look at the community’s response to see what age groups we need to focus on here. I have provided several examples of “active play” design elements, including installing a zipline which children could use to “travel” from the upper play area to the bottom play area over a meadow section. Indeed, our chairperson (Francois Laurence) is currently in Switzerland and was very excited to send a video of his son in a playpark there, using a zipline similar to the one I have given as an example in the questionnaire. If you feel that the questionnaire has left out any “active play” design elements, please let me know by sending an email to louise@welgemoedcid.co.za. As this park upgrade research project was 100% volunteer hours, I would also invite you to become involved as a volunteer to help us plan and implement the park upgrade. The more community involvement, the greater the chance of success in the long term. Kind regards, Louise

  • Charmaine & Les Kloot
    24/06/2022 at 10:02

    Most definitely in favour of improved biodiversity in Chavonne play park.

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