FSG loves projects that uplift the community with recreational areas. The children’s park is a great example of a project that will add greatly to the quality of life the children in the area enjoy. This communal space will benefit those making use of the housing development of Calgro M3 Development, in Johannesburg South.
FSG took a barren area of around 14 000m² and created a safe haven for children and families to enjoy. The brief given to FSG required an environmentally-friendly approach to the project, reusing and recycling as much as possible. The area needs to be a lush, grassy park furnished with braai facilities and recreational play equipment for children. This landscaping project will take place over a three-month time period, and it will require FSG to make major positive changes both to the visible landscape and to the soil quality to ensure that the newly planted fauna and flora thrives.
Adding plants to the landscape meant a comprehensive planting plan was needed, containing lots of water-wise plants that will offer pops of summer colour. Flowering plants such as Limonium perezii, Strelitzia reginae, and Carpobrotus edulis ground cover will add the desired summer hues. Winters will also be vibrant, thanks to the succulent groundcover Crassula ‘campfire’ and the pink plumes of Melinis nerviglumis.
Some of the unique design ideas to be used at South Hills is to incorporate and make use of as much of the existing ‘waste’ materials from the site as possible, therefore, FSG will be implementing a “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” philosophy in a very practical way. Grassy berms and slides are created from broken and unused water pipes. A sand pit area will be surrounded by colourful, painted secondhand tyres that are salvaged from the site and around town. This will lighten the area with fun and colour.
We envision everyone, young and old, in the community becoming more active outdoors. Jungle gyms for children will be accompanied by outdoor gym equipment suitable for adults, as well as cycling pathways for commuters and benches for families to sit down on and take in some fresh air. Informal sports fields for soccer and netball will allow people of all ages to enjoy outdoor sports.
This particular site was challenging because of the abundance of rocks that were found in the area. We incorporated them into our plan, creatively. We used them to create a natural, visually appealing edging for the garden beds. Nature threw us another curve ball with the shallow rock bed situated exactly where we planned for the children’s soccer field and the netball court to be, making it very difficult to level the ground. We addressed the challenge by bringing in soil from an outside source and creating an even layer of ground over the rock bed. We also had to incorporate the four existing stormwater channels, by making an informal bridgeway using discarded bricks for the bicycle path to connect throughout the park.
The community now has a free-to-use communal park. The lush grass is great for picnics, while braai facilities allow for family gatherings and food preparations. Fitness enthusiasts can jog along the pathways or enjoy a game of soccer on the sports field. Parents can relax, seated on benches as their young children enjoy the jungle gym equipment, sandpit and repurposed slides.