Facelift for Echium Park

Horticulturist Kirsti Browne and GTAF chairwoman Karen Davis.

Several upgrades are planned for a Table View park, including a skateboarding area, an amphitheatre, a picnic spot, cycle routes, a playground and chess tables.

The plan for Echium Park was outlined in broad strokes to the 20-odd residents at the Greater Table View Action Forum’s last public meeting of the year. It was held at Sunningdale Primary School, on Wednesday November 22.

GTAF chairwoman Karen Davis gave the presentation with help from horticulturist Kirsti Browne, who lives in the area and is volunteering her services after seeing an appeal for help posted on GTAF’s Facebook page.

Ward 107 councillor Nicky Rheeder was also at the meeting and voiced her support for the project.

Ms Davis said it made sense to pick Echium Park because it fell in the middle of the area.

“We want to remind everyone that this is a community park so it is there for everyone in the community and we all should take care of it,” said Ms Davis.

Some residents asked how the water crisis would affect plans to plant trees and plants at the park, but Ms Browne said that originally two thirds of the park had been a detention pond so there would be enough water underground to sustain the plants without the need for further watering.

Ms Davis said it was too early to put a price tag on the project but the budget would come from corporates and whatever Ms Rheeder could spare.

“Plans for the project, she said, had been drawn up by Ms Browne and a GTAF management committee member, Dirk van Niekerk, at no charge.

Ms Rheeder said she had already done her ward allocation for parks when GTAF came to her with the plan, but she would try to find some money in a future ward budget for the project which would be done over several stages.

“If we were to ask her to help us pay for the fencing, we would have to use a City-approved supplier. So far there will be no public monies spent, apart from the allocated portion of the councillor’s ward allocation. If this should change, the proper process will be followed,” Ms Davis told Tabletalk.

Ms Rheeder said the park upgrade was “a great initiative”, and she would do her best to help.

Sunningdale resident Leslie Harding, who was at the meeting last week, said he and his 13-year-old son were both very excited about the plans for the park.

“Every time I drive past there with him he always asks me when is it getting done because he heard about the plans for the soccer area. I just want to add that this is a much needed project for our community so we can have a safe space for our kids to go.”

GTAF said it hoped to start construction in the new year and welcomed public donations.