MMC assesses the state of parks and rediscovers the splendour of The Wilds

MMC for Community Development, Nonhlanhla Sifumba (second from right) talks to people on the ground during a site visit to The Wilds.


A site tour, which began at The Wilds in Houghton, before moving onto other municipal-owned parks in the east of Johannesburg, was conducted by MMC for Community Development, Nonhlanhla Sifumba.

The tour on 21 February was an effort to gauge maintenance standards, identify safety concerns, implement supporting marketing plans and identify potential partnership opportunities to increase visitors to the parks.

“Joburg has an array of outdoor activities tailored to cater for all residents,” said Sifumba.

“The option to enjoy the quietness of The Wilds, or the chirping birds nesting on the bird island at Rhodes Park or the view from the majestic bridge at Bruma Park, are experiences many city dwellers are yet to discover.”

MMC for Community Development, Nonhlanhla Sifumba walks through the lush bushes of The Wilds.

Active volunteers such as James Delaney, a local resident who has installed wildlife art pieces within the park, are helping to restore the grandeur of The Wilds. Delaney facilitates donations to contribute to enhancing the facility and works closely with the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) conservation team based in the facility.

“I’ve been working in The Wilds as a volunteer for about four years now. At first, I focused on cleaning old branches and undergrowth which made the park feel dark and unsafe. Now it is much more open, and the flowers are returning now they get more water and light,” Delaney said, speaking to Rosebank Killarney Gazette.

“There is an installation of 67 owls in one forest, and several pieces around the main entrance. They have become visitor attractions – people come to see the owl forest – and they engage kids, and so lots of people bring their children now – which is wonderful. We also installed a mini-library at the entrance with free books for adults and kids.”

Maintenance work is done on the lawns at The Wilds.

The sundial situated at the summit of The Wilds.

Sifumba added that the volunteer efforts have assisted a great deal in adding to the splendour that now exists within the park. “A great deal of progress has been made in reclaiming The Wilds, however, there is an infestation of invasive plants that requires many hands and more visitors to the facility, but owing to the the valuable contributions of Delaney and De Klerk, The Wilds is in a [much better] condition than before.”


What more should be done to return The Wilds to a pristine condition? Tell us by posting on our Facebook page.


Related stories:

The Wilds precinct to undergo major revamp

Children save The Wilds Nature Reserve


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