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‘Green’ light given for wilderness park

The wilderness park, which was decommissioned due to vandalism, was reopened to the public recently.

THE Inanda Wilderness Park, a much-appreciated community focal point in Ward 44, under the Green Corridors banner, was recently reopened at a small gathering of partners, community members and people representing local leadership, schools and the elderly.

Situated at the headwaters of the Gobhogobho River, it was decommissioned as the site was vulnerable to vandalism during the Covid-19 pandemic when gatherings could not be held.

Green Corridors will now reignite its programmes so that the local community, especially school groups and the elderly, will be able to benefit from its offerings.

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The concept of the Inanda Wilderness Park is that it is a unique multigenerational park facility that focuses on promotion of health and wellness through an important partnership with the eThekwini Municipality, Green Corridors, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and new partners, Kinship Programme.

It takes a therapeutic approach through the provision of occupational therapy and environmental education, through programmes that promote human development, ecology and sustainable living.

“The land belongs to Inanda Seminary School, and through the IWP programme, we are able to manage this underutilised open space, which would otherwise be a hotspot for criminal activity or illegal dumping,” said Nomfundo Phewa of Green Corridors.

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“We are bringing people closer to the open environment to harness the therapeutic healing abilities of nature. We do this by the preservation of our biodiversity and exposing children to the open environment from an early age, so they are able to value and understand the open environment. This space is conserved as a natural habitat to provide a safe recreation space for children, the elderly and visitors to the area, as well as small animals and birds.”

The site is situated at the headwaters of the Gobhogobho River and operated by Green Corridors. The park and its programmes will be managed by Wilderness Parks Coordinator Nompilo Ngcobo and Youth Mentor Nhlakanipho Machi, with support from three wilderness park site assistants.

Green Corridors will be working closely with the local community to ensure the continued integrity of the park. Physical activities for the elderly, such as exercise and vegetable cultivation, will be offered in conjunction with Masisizane Service/Drop-in Centre, a day facility for the elderly in this area. Learner groups from schools will be able to take part in environmental education as well as use the park for physical development programmes.

The IWP will be open from Mondays to Fridays, from 07:00 to 15:00.

Green Corridors always welcomes volunteers to work within its many programmes which aim to connect people to their natural environment. To become involved, email iwp@durbangreencorridor.co.za.

For more information, go to www.greencorridors.co.za.

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