By Meggan McCarthy
The Bedfordview community has given positive feedback about the revamped Oriel Park, which features children’s and gym equipment, attenuation dams and which is designed with biodiversity in mind, with the park attracting birds like bishops, herons, Egyptian geese and others.
DA Councillor Jill Humphreys said, ‘Feedback from the community has been positive. People are enjoying the park and are excited about the developments.’ Humphreys is happy about the bridge, which provides a safe way for pedestrians to get across the park during the rainy season when river levels get high. ‘This bowl can flood entirely, that’s why there are two attenuation dams. The whole central area of the park is designed to handle flood waters.’
Revamping the park came with its challenges. ‘Every ward councillor has R1 million to do a special project. When they focused on Oriel Park, it was so last minute that there was one contractor who had to deal with 27 projects,’ said Humphreys. ‘They ran out of supplies and they couldn’t finish the park during the time limit they had, with the result that there was R300,000 unspent. So more could have been done.’
Despite this, Humphreys is optimistic and has plans to further enhance the park. ‘I’d like to have a fresh vegetable or craft market here and I’m in negotiations with that. This initiative would be a way to attract more people to the park and have local businesses sell their products. It’ll really bring the community out to enjoy their park.’