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In just 10 hours, an inviting green park will exist in Pimville where once was barren ground. Workers are racing to meet the deadline.
THE rhythmic sound of shovels as they struck the ground and the drone of generators and tractors pervaded the atmosphere as men and women in green overalls battled to meet the 10-hour deadline to complete the Pimville Xtreme Park.

 

Planting treesPlanting treesThe workers, who consisted of City Parks officials and community members, were building the entity’s fifth extreme park, on Wednesday, 20 April.
 

Work started in the Soweto park at 8am and as early as 11am a significant number of trees were already planted, a paved walkway was built and benches were set in place. Some people were laying pieces of instant lawn as others worked on the basketball court and soccer field.

When completed, the park will have ablution facilities, 16 new playground pieces, paved walkways, 250 indigenous trees, grassed picnic areas, park furniture, a mini soccer field, a basketball court, rubbish bins and a fence around it.

The radical making over of the barren playground into a fully fledged park is important because it will give children a place to play and an environment for adults to relax and socialise, according to Executive Mayor Amos Masondo.

“Pimville Xtreme Park is poised to become one of the leading outdoor recreation hubs in the southern quadrant of Johannesburg, completing the environmental and socio-economic revival of Soweto, making the township a highlight acclaimed blueprint of urban planning on the continent,” he said.

 

A water fountain is completeA water fountain is completeThe idea of an extreme park makeover was taken from Extreme Makeover, a television series. The park makeovers are aimed at transforming dilapidated parks and outdoor spaces into lush oases for picnicking and playing.
 

The opening of the Pimville park will also mark Earth Day, a day that is intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the environment. Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April each year.

The first Earth Day was held in 1970, when 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast to coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organised protests against the deterioration of the environment.

The day was founded by the United States senator, Gaylord Nelson, as a day to teach and learn about the environment. An organisation created by Denis Hayes took the day international in 1990 by organising Earth Day events in 141 countries.

Masondo will officially open the complete Pimville Xtreme Park at the end of the day.

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