One of the oldest parks in Johannesburg has been given an “Xtreme Makeover.”

Last week Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo Managing Director Bulumko Nelana, his executive team, 500 employees and volunteers toiled in the rain to breathe new life into Turffontein’s, 10-hectare, Rotunda Park.

Work on the park included building flower beds, laying the lawn, planting indigenous trees, installing new outdoor gym equipment and painting playground equipment – in their race to successfully complete their self-imposed 12-hour challenge.

“Today’s activities cost R200 000 but the total budget that has gone into breathing new life into this park is R6 million,” said Nelana.

Xtremepark Makeover initiative

“The aim of the Xtremepark Makeover initiative is to fast-track the establishment of outdoor recreational facilities in high-density areas, while rehabilitating public spaces showing symptoms of illegal dumping, littering, vandalism and vagrancy. The whole exercise was aimed at revitalising Turffontein, really.

“The reason City Parks & Zoo specifically chose this park is because Turffontein has been earmarked for redevelopment as part of the Corridors of Freedom strategy of turning Joburg into an economically inclusive and vibrant African city in which residents live and play near their places of work and schools,” Nelana said.

The park now boasts a new skateboard court, an astro-turf mini soccer field, revamped netball and tennis courts, a state-of-the-art children’s play area complete with rubberised surfaces, a fitness track and picnic shelters.

The park’s gym area and gym equipment as well as the cycling space have been enlarged and modernised. The park is home to some of the oldest trees in the city.

Nelana said the XtremePark Makeover would not only rejuvenate the park and create employment but would also lead to further development to attract investors.