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It took 10 hours of hard labour, but the people of Pimville now have a green park of their own, where they can relax and play.
THE opening of the new Pimville Xtreme Park was a highlight for residents of the Soweto suburb, who thronged their new green lung on Wednesday, 20 April.

A fountain Pimville Park is now a lush, green lungThe day started very early, with City Parks staff and community members working tirelessly to beat the 10-hour deadline for the transformation of the dilapidated site, used mainly for illegal dumping, into an inviting green space.

On the day, 250 indigenous trees were planted, a basketball court and a mini soccer field were built, playground equipment was installed and park furniture was set up.

There are now paved walkways, grassed picnic spots, braai facilities and a fence around the recreational area. The basketball court and the soccer field proved to be popular with the boys, while the girls enjoyed chatting on the benches.

Parents from the community were happy with the new park because it gave their children an opportunity to socialise in a safe environment, the said.

One resident, Bertha Mapila, said the park was relaxing and enjoyable. For 10-year-old Sibonelo Mtshali, his favourite thing was the swings, followed by the basketball court.

Officially opening the park, Executive Mayor Amos Masondo said it belonged to the residents. It was just part of the City’s mandate to deliver services to the people.

“Government is about the wellbeing of people. It is about acknowledging that the changing lives of people require a complex approach that takes into account the extensive needs of the various local communities.

“In this instance, the City seeks to create public open spaces in which people are able to sit and reflect; read a book or gaze in the sky and wonder; take a walk and enjoy the scenery; relax and engage in leisure activities; take wedding, family and other photos; meet; consider and discuss issues of common interest; play games; and hold mini festivals and similar cultural activities.”

Pimville Xtreme Park is open for playPimville XtremePark is open for playThe Pimville Xtreme Park is City Parks’ fifth extreme park. The utility manages the cemeteries, open green areas, street trees and conserved spaces in Johannesburg.

Taking the idea from Extreme Makeover, a television series, the park transformations are aimed at transforming dilapidated parks and outdoor spaces into lush oases for picnicking and playing.

The Pimville park is part of a broader greening project by the City, called Bridging the Green Divide. It seeks to bring balance between the northern and southern parts of Joburg. To date, over 200 000 trees have been planted in southern Joburg.

There is also continual rehabilitation and greening of the Jukskei and Klip rivers and the greening of soccer fields, especially in the southern part of the city.

The park transformation was also used to mark Earth Day, a day that is intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the environment. Earth Day is celebrated around the world each year on 22 April.

Masondo spoke about the environment and how much it was suffering because of ever-advancing technology. “The weather is not what it used to be when we were growing up, so this global warming and climate change requires us to change how we do things.”

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