Erik van Dijk
3 minute read
9 Feb 2017
11:59 am

Bunny Park readies for its facelift

Erik van Dijk

There are two phases to the upgrade, with the first to begin on March 1.

Jacques Meiring, Ward 27 councillor, is seen at one of the Bunny Park's ponds. Picture: Benoni City Times

The Bunny Park will close on March 1 for the start of the facility’s revamp and will remain closed until at least September, reports the Benoni City Times.

READ PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Bunny Park revamp to start in new year

Red Landscape Architects is the principal contractor appointed by the Ekurhuleni metro to handle developments at several parks in the city.

They have contracted Gauflora CC to handle Phase One of the upgrades at the Bunny Park.

Jacques Meiring, Ward 27 councillor, said Phase One was water-based in that it would focus on dredging two of the park’s three main ponds, cleaning the canals, making sure there is good flow between them to prevent stagnation of the water and installing irrigation in the park.

Jaco Burger, the metro’s project manager for parks and cemeteries, took the contractor and the Benoni City Times through the park, explaining step by step what had to happen.

He said the contract officially starts on March 1, when the park closes in order for the contractor to bring machinery into the facility, though they can already begin with manual labour.

The project’s official deadline is the end of June, but the contractor will be expected to finish the bulk of the work a month earlier to allow for finalisation.

Phase Two of the park’s refurbishment is planned to start by July and last until September or October.

As the second phase falls in the metro’s new financial year, there is no budget for it, and the details still have to be finalised.

The preliminary objectives of Phase Two are the following:

• Build new shelters and upgrade the existing ones

• Upgrade the camps

• Install play equipment for the animals

• Upgrade the children’s play equipment, picnic area and ablution facilities

• Build a sick bay for the animals

• Upgrade the perimeter fence.

Burger also spoke of a possible zip line as entertainment for children.

The plans for the aviary are still uncertain, though its function will certainly change.

Burger said the park’s cows, goats and sheep will be moved to Presidents Park, Springs, while the two pigs will go to the Bokkie Park in Boksburg.

“The geese, chickens, ducks, peacocks and rabbits will still be on site, therefore strict precautions must be taken by the contractor so the animals are not hurt or disturbed,” Burger said.

Burger showed how two camps on either side of the park will be used as dump sites for the organic material dredged from the two ponds.

ALSO READ: Benoni Bunny Park legal battle settled on refurbishment

The material will be worked into the soil at the end of the project to enrich it.

The camp currently housing the sheep will then be used to grow vegetables.

“The plan is to involve the community in sustainable vegetable gardening at the park,” Burger added.

“Once it’s done, there must be an educational side to the park, where children can learn more about animals and plants.”

The full cost of Phase One of the project is R3.7 million.

Caxton News Service

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.