JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) –FOCUSING on increased safety and security of women and girls in urban recreational spaces, a partnership between a non-profit organisation and the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) has emerged a blueprint for modern joint urban park management.
The James and Ethel Gray Park Foundation (JEGPF) and JCPZ are part of this partnership that bolsters the safety and security of park users, especially women and children.
The pragmatic approach follows extensive research by the partnership, with an emphasis on the physical characteristics of the park.
MELROSE – The local loved James and Ethel Gray Park is up to standard thanks to over 100 volunteers and stakeholders.
The James and Ethel Gray Park has been getting a lot of tidying up recently and chairman of the James and Ethel Gray Park Foundation Sunil Geness asked residents to maintain the good trend.
“The most important aspect of this Women’s Month is for all park users to contribute to the sustainability and maintenance of the park. We know most people will exercise or walk their dogs at the park this Women’s Day weekend, therefore, we would like to ask, especially men, that while they do so, to collect trash bags by our gazebo and pick up litter in the park as a gesture in kind,” Geness said.
By Dumisani Sigogo = After extensive research, the James and Ethel Gray Park Foundation(JEGPF), in partnership with the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ), have developed a pragmatic approach to strengthen the safety and security efforts for all park users, especially for women and children.
The drive, that harnesses the services of volunteers, supporters and park users is aimed at making parks and other public recreational spaces safe and user friendly for women and girls in South Africa due to the fact that the country already suffers the higher rates of femicide and rape in the world.
The JEGPF campaign coincided with Women’s Day, an important day in the month of August, marked as Women’s Month, which is used to raise awareness about important issues that affect women, celebrate their achievements as well as uplift them.
JAMES AND ETHEL GRAY PARK FOUNDATION APPEALS TO PARK-USERS, GREATER JOHANNEBSURG RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES TO SUPPORT EFFORTS TO ENHANCE THE SAFETY, SUSTAINABILITY AND UTILITY OF THE FLAGSHIP JAMES AND ETHEL GRAY PARK, ON WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY, 5 JUNE 2020
Johannesburg, 5 June 2020. Less than a year prior to World Environment Day 2020, the James and Ethel Gray Park, in Johannesburg, South Africa was in a derelict condition. The park was characterised by limited community utilisation, non-biodegradable waste and litter strewn across the length and breadth of the park, physical attacks on park-users, a spate of murders, regular illegal entry of commercial vehicles and an increase in home invasions adjacent to the park. The park has since undergone a significant positive transformation since the inception of the James and Ethel Gray Park Foundation (JEGPF).
The Foundation was launched on 10 September 2019, as a partnership involving the Melrose North Residents and Ratepayers Association (MNRRA) and Birdhaven Residents Association (BRA), in partnership with the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) and the City of Johannesburg. The vision- to support the safety and sustainability of the park.
Over the past 10 months, the Foundation has steadily made progress towards the improvement of the park’s infrastructure, upkeep and protection. The signature programmes implemented include the installation of Cochrane ClearVu perimeter fencing, the provision of regular park guarding, rehabilitation of the park dam as well as regular park clean-ups, grass cutting, litter cleaning and waste-removal, which has served to augment the JCPZ scheduled maintenance programme. Community utilisation has increased exponentially, bolstered by events such as a “Zumbathon”, and joint, planned cleaning efforts with learners from surrounding schools, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown. The work of the Foundation has been increasing in reach across far-flung geographies, with New York’s Central Park Conservancy offering to provide best-practice knowledge and guidance to the JEGPF.
Speaking at the time of the launch, City of Johannesburg Ward 74 Councillor, David Fisher said that “the park is classified as a flagship park, by the City and it is vital that we preserve and protect our open green spaces. The park plays an important part in preserving the ecology of the area considering that the Bird Park with its dam and wetland is home to a large variety of birds. This park also supports a lot of other wild life such as insects, frogs and small mammals.”
Chairperson of the Foundation, Sunil Geness said that “ to date 75% of the park perimeter fencing on the Northern side of the M1 has been concluded, but the Foundation requires further funding support from park-users, Johannesburg residents, local and international businesses located in Johannesburg as well as local and global foundations, to meaningfully support the sustainability of the thirty six(36) hectare park, which essentially acts a giant lung to the city. The additional donor funds will be utilized for the conclusion of payments for the current fencing and bolster the completion of the remaining 25% of the fencing project.” Geness concluded that “programmes of the JEGPF provide pragmatic mechanisms of achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the theme of World Environment Day 2020- time for nature- through modern urban park management practices. The latter having been clearly demonstrated recently, when local residents and visitors flocked to the park as soon as COVID-19 lockdown level three (3) regulations took effect, in South Africa”.
City of Johannesburg Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Environment and Infrastructure Services, Councillor Mpho Moerane said that “the work undertaken by organizations like the James and Ethel Gray Park Foundation, were vital to the utility, safety and sustainability of our diverse biodiversity, and should be commended and supported by all stakeholders”. He added that “this year’s World Environment Day will be celebrated under the theme ‘Biodiversity’ to make a plea for urgent action to protect biodiversity. It is also to put the spotlight on nature, with the emphasis on restoring the relationship between humans and nature.”
Donations to the James and Ethel Gray Park Foundation NPC, can be made at NedbankAccount number, 1188780247, Branch Code 19660500, Melrose Arch Branch, Swift Code NEDSZAJJ, Reference your full name/business name and email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your PBO certificate. You can also find our snapscan details at: https://jamesandethelgrayparkfoundation.org/
About the James and Ethel Gray Park Foundation:
The Foundation is a Non-Profit Company(NPC) incorporated under certificate number 2019/037318/08 issued by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission(CIPC) under South Afrian Law and a South African Revenue Services(SARS) approved Public Benefit Organisation (PBO number 930066624). The Foundation has been established as an initiative of the Melrose North Residents and Ratepayers Association (MNRRA) and Birdhaven Residents Association (BRA), in partnership with the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) and the City of Johannesburg. It is focused on the safety and sustainability of the James & Ethel Gray Park.
The Foundation is a Non-Profit Company (NPC) incorporated under certificate number 2019/037318/08 issued by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) under South African Law and a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO Number 930066624)
The Foundation has been established as an initiative of the Melrose North Residents and Ratepayers Association(MNRRA) and the Birdhaven Residents and Ratepayers Association(BRRA), In partnership with the Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo (JCPZ) and the City of Johannesburg. This is effectively a partnership between the adjacent residents associations, the JCPZ and the City of Johannesburg.
The Foundation is mandated to give effect to its vision and mission through programmes, including and not limited to fund-raising, events, workshops, public seminars, digital courses, conferences, masterclasses, training on the environment, development forums, expert meetings, volunteer campaigns, social cohesion and diversity and empowerement iniatitives using the environment as a base, and sourcing of park infrastructure, perimeter fencing, technology etc.
Critical to the success of the Foundation will be the raising of funds, (personal, corporate and any other entity donations, bequests, endowments, grants etc) and gifts that advance the goals and aspirations of the Foundation and by supporting the objectives of the Foundation’s partners and benefactors, whilst adhering to and working within the ambits of the JCPZ guidance and approvals. The Foundation prioritises projects and programmes that have a mass impact and are of immediate relevance to the sustainability, conservation, safety and security of the Park.
=The Foundation aims to support the sustainability, conservation, ecology, environmental sustainability, safety and security of the Park
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36-hectare former bird sanctuary with a lake, city views & a large, grassy field for sports & dogs
James & Ethel Gray Park, Edgewood Avenue & Melrose St, Melrose, Johannesburg, 2000
06:00 – 18:00