George Hay Park

The George Hay Park, situated between Lurgan and Westmeath Roads and Kildare and Waterford, is seen by many residents as the centre of the suburb and  a wonderful place to walk and play in a safe, clean and green enviroment.

The Parkview Resident's Association became actively involved in the Park in 2001 after a teenager was injured when one of the cast iron support structures on one of the swings broke. A community day was organised to raise funds for replacing some of the playground equipment. 

However issues around public liability, as well as the difficulty of repairing and replacing the cast iron equipment meant that not much progress was made and the money was kept in trust by the PRA. A positive outcome was that the PRA began to engage with Johannesburg City Parks in a structured and advantageous way. 

George Hay Park

In 2005, looking for a solution to the poor quality of the grass, a donation from Pikitup of compost / top soil was negotiated and spread by a group of residents over a weeken. As well grass runners were planted in those areas where the grass had virtually died off. Sprinkler equipment was bought and used in the hot dry months before the rains to give the grass a boost. A mowing schedule with the team from Marks Park was established to make sure the lawns are cut and trimmed regularly.

Beginning in 2007, and continuing ever since, many different projects have been undertaken including the renovation and staffing of the toilet block, the repainting of the perimeter fence, the repair of the drinking fountain, the renovation and securing of the storeroom, the installation of benches and tables, annual planting of indigenous trees, often planned around Arbor Week in September and the repair and installation of new playground equipment

In December St Columbas held their first Christmas Market, which was such a sucess, it has been held every year since and continues to grow. CLICK HERE to find out more about the Nicarela Charity. The organiser of the event, recognising the huge role the Park plays in the success of their market, have donated additional funds which help with capital projects. In December 2011 the area in front of the toilets was paved as the grass struggled to grow under the trees and the heavy foot traffic. They have also paid for a 30 cubic metre load of top soil to be spread in 2012. 

In 2008 the need for a permanent but casual parkkeeper was recognised as a way to keep the park clean and safe on a daily basis. Paulus Mavuso, who had helped out on an ad-hoc basis was offered the job. Funds were raised by asking those residents who live on the perimeter of the park (and any others willing to do so) to commit to a monthly contribution. Paulus left at the end of 2011 and has been replaced by Onias Khumalo, who works three days a week (one of which is funded by St Columbas Church). Daily duties include making sure the bins are cleared (and any recyclables removed and the dog poo removed. Other duties include watering the trees and keeping their bases free of grass, feeding the trees, weeding the pavements and pruning bushes and trees where necessary, watering the grass in early summer and raking and piling leaves in winter.

In 2010 the PRA installed a rubberised surface with a basketball hoop. Small children also enjoying riding their black scooters around on this. There is a noticeboard at the gate in Westmeath Road, where public notices are displayed informing residents of upcoming events, like the Halloween Party that is held every year on 31 October. And the Potjiekos competition run by St Columbas / Nicarela.

Residents have approached the PRA to plant trees and install benches in memory of family. The Flateua family planted a group of wild olive trees and installed a cement bench in the Waterford / Lurgan cnr of the Park for their mothers 80th birthday.

Since the upgrade of the park many families have returned to using the park on a daily basis. Most mornings one will see an informal meeting of child minders with their babies and toddlers. Dog walkers at all times of the day and chilren playing basketball and cricket on the weekends. As well there are many requests to use the park for birthday parties, sometimes including a jumping castle. WE are delighted that family's want to celebrate in the Park but there are terms and conditions we request you follow. Please click here for more information.

Currently we are busy with a programme of spraying the clover - which has increased dramatically in the last few years - which will be followed up with the spreading of organic mushroom topsoil.