Compiled by Tim Bull
Amazing things can happen when people work together with a common goal. Last year the Rapportryers at P.J.Olivier High School donated their fun run proceeds to Grahamstown Residents’ Association for a project to beautify the city and others added further contributions.
GRA invited interested parties, including Makana Parks Department to meet and discuss how to make maximum use of the donations. Following a presentation by Mike Powell of Rhodes University it was decided to commence a planting project and overhaul for the unkempt and ugly central reservation on High Street.
Mongamo Dlulemnyango took on the task of project management, working closely with Kwanele Mbangi and his team from Parks Department. The work has progressed from the Cathedral end towards the University end of High Street. The design is intended to incorporate a theme of red brick and local stone with indigenous drought-resistant planting, whilst discouraging donkeys sleeping and people walking over the plants.
Makana Parks Department have done the majority of the work, with assistance and guidance from Mongamo. The work will continue to completion over the next few months, though more community support is required to do so. A further highlight of this work has been the readiness of “Car Guards” to engage and support this work. Many have said they are pleased with the improvements and have proved very willing to assist in clearing litter and even watering the plants.
The remaining third of High Street central reservation and the area around Drosdy Arch needs to be completed + gaps filled and finishing touches to some areas. A design for the Drosdy Arch and opposite island is in progress.
..and you could help the project continue
- It requires additional funding, largely to pay for the project management and coordination.
- Adjacent businesses can also help by both sponsoring more bins and encouraging the “Car Guards” to clean up.
While GRA will negotiate to resolve:
- The state of the paving and derelict street architecture such as old parking meter poles requires input from the relevant Municipal departments.
- The decrepit lamp posts need to be fixed, exposed wiring covered, the old decorations removed and repaired if necessary.
A lot has already been achieved on a very small budget by Mongamo, Makana Parks Department, especially Kwanele Mbangi and his team under the leadership of Jeff Budaza and other participants such as Daniel Kilchenmann. It is hoped that we can continue this project and that it can be a great example for future combined initiatives. Thank you.
If you wish to contribute please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
And partnering in The Spring
You may have noticed that new signage has been placed at Fairview Spring off Port Alfred Road, and cleaning work undertaken. The cleaning and re-planting work has been provided by a mix of private individuals, Interact (Rotary) and Makana Parks Department. Preventing all littering seems to be impossible, so users are kindly requested ‘do a little bit’ and collect some rubbish and dispose of it properly when visiting – thank you. In the meantime, there are plans afoot for Rotoract to install a couple of new bins.
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