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Friends of Harfield Parks - February Newsletter
Dear Harfield Residents, Neighbours and Friends
Princes Park work party
Last Saturday we had a most successful work party with a great turn out of neighbours – they brought their children and tons of food for all the weary helpers! We also had help from 6 teenagers sent by Abbotts College as detention for smoking – they did a great job! (Now you know what to do with your errant teens! J) We cut back the thorn trees and laid the branches down on the beds; put down a deep mulch around the plants to help retain moisture; cleaned up leaves (and poo); and trimmed back hedges and overhangs.
A special thanks to Al of Urban Village Properties for generous and continued support in providing funding and overalls for our gardening staff. We wouldn’t make much headway without these hard-working men!
The drought – and not being able to use our sprinklers – has hit the parks hard. Please bring a bucket of grey water to all work parties, and in the meantime take a bucket or two of grey water to your nearest park to sustain small trees and shrubs in particular. This is the future – if we’re to have any greenery at all, we’ll be relying on kind people to donate grey water more and more.
The best news though, is that a CHAMAELEON was spotted in the park!!!!! Isn’t that absolutely wonderful? We think the spiny thorns on the tree branches and in the beds deter cats and dogs from disturbing them. Let’s hope they make lots of babies!! J
A point here is that we follow Permaculture organic practises in composting and mulching and use natural fertilizers. Our aim is to increase the biodiversity in our parks, so poisons/chemicals are only used judiciously when absolutely necessary to save a tree or plant.
Cuttings and leaves waiting for collection by City Parks
Spot the chameleon (Prince’s Park)
Our work parties start at 9am – you can stay for as long as you want, or just pop in for a while, we don’t mind – every helping hand is gratefully appreciated. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can sponsor labour for a gardener!
Saturday 18 February – Surrey Park
Saturday 25 March – Purley Park
Saturday 22 April – Hampstead Park
Sunday 7 May – Annual Railway Line Clean-up (start at Kenilworth station and finish at Harfield station)
Adopt a Baby Tree
We would love people to adopt and nurture a baby tree or shrub in the parks! Please email me your name and which tree you’d like to pamper with grey water once a week – firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d like to maintain a data-base so that we don’t all choose one tree and others remain neglected!
Water for the Birds
Birds are desperately thirsty too – so put out a shallow bowl of water with some stones in it (you don’t want them to drown!) in a quiet spot in your garden. Remember to change the water frequently.
Cutting Down Mature Trees
Ring-barking and cutting down mature trees (yes, even alien trees!) is illegal!!! There are more and more incidents of vandalism of this sort in the Village. You are NOT allowed to cut down or prune any mature trees on Council property – that includes your pavement. If you have a problem with a tree on Council land, you can call City Parks on 021-689 8938.
On your own land you may not cut down any protected tree like our beautiful Yellowoods and Milkwoods. Should you wish to trim or remove one, you have to get a permit. Failure to do so can lead to a substantial fine and up to 5 years imprisonment.
If you fall into the Heritage zone of Harfield Village (Imam Haron Rd to Bell St, Worcester St to Rosmead Ave) then you even need to get permission to prune or remove any mature tree.
Please be vigilant and SMS any incidents (preferably with photos) to 084 8172 405.
Pick Up Glass
On your walks through the parks alone, with your children and/or dogs, please take along a plastic bag and pick up glass and random rubbish lying around.
Our parks were once rubbish dumps so there are bits of glass that push up to the surface from time to time. These shards pose a danger to children and dogs and we’d obviously like our play areas in our Village to be safe.
Ward Councillor Cottle
Ward Cllr Cottle met with Gail and Francine to inspect Hampstead Park (she’s also visited the other parks) and commends the community on the work they do at work parties. She indicated that she’ll assist with Ward budget for at least one capital expenditure improvement in the parks! More about this next time…
A monthly donation of R25 helps us fund labour (weeding & cleaning) and make improvements (irrigation, gym equipment, flower & vegetable beds, etc.) in all four Village parks (Surrey, Hampstead, Princes, Purley).
DONATIONS TO: Friends of Harfield Parks, Standard Bank, Claremont, Acc No: 076293874, or Snapscan