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The South African Landscaper Institute has given gold awards of excellence to Metro Park, a new space in the inner city, and Lehae Park in Soweto.

winningparks1TWO Johannesburg parks have received special awards from the South African Landscaper Institute, underlining the thought and hard work that Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo put into creating a green, liveable environment for residents.

Metro Park in the inner city and Lehae Park in Soweto were recognised for having the most outstanding and unusual, high quality landscaping designs at the annual convention of the South African Green Industries Council, held in Pretoria on Wednesday, 4 June.

Marina Landscaping, which was involved in designing the brand-new Metro Park, received the gold award of excellence in the "Landscape Construction with Design," category. Metro Park is situated between Braamfontein and Newtown and is directly adjacent to Nelson Mandela Bridge in the inner city, on the corner of Carr and Ntemi Piliso streets.

It was converted from a rubbish dumping site to a recreational park between May and September last year and now features a large amphitheatre, open lawn area, outdoor gym, ablution building, extensive pathways and an Astro Turf soccer field.

Dewald van Zyl, Marina Landscaping's project administrator, says the company was honoured to be been part of the construction of Metro Park. "It will play an important role in the uplifting of the community by providing a safe and healthy recreational space. The park is already encouraging a variety of bird life to settle."

Tswellapele Plant, the landscaping company that was responsible for the design of Lehae Park in Soweto, was awarded the gold award of excellence in the "Specialised Landscaping Construction" category. The design approach for Lehae Park focused on the development of a vibrant community park that promoted the integration of the local community, both children and an adults, around a common need for a recreational space. It incorporates robust play elements, as well as drought-resistant and frost-hardy plants.

City Parks spokesperson Jenny Moodley says the awards confirm that JCPZ is committed to providing excellent parks for residents. She congratulated the capital infrastructure development unit for delivering the award-winning spaces.