Florida Blockwatch and community go out to reclaim their park


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The difference in the quality of the suburbs is directly linked to a positive involvement in community development projects.

When considering the future of their environment, the founders of Florida chose Len Rutter Park as the place that would be one of their outdoor treasures. Still beloved today, this premier outdoor location continues to attract many recreation seekers, as well as internally displaced persons and delinquents. To welcome spring and a renewed commitment to maintaining the beauty of their suburbs, Florida Blockwatch and affected community groups filled the park for a cleanup on September 4.

Illegal dumping in Len Rutter Park. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

Dressed in overalls and rubber boots, the more than 60 participants walked the grassy banks, bushes and the river valley, picking up all the trash in sight. Small pockets of vagrant camps have sprouted in the most hidden parts of the park, and the trash they leave behind makes up for most of the glass and plastic bottles lining the river. Part of the cleanup involved talks with the vagrants to educate them about the risks their pollution creates.

Florida Blockwatch oversees community affairs in the area marked by Ontdekkers Road to the north and Goldman Street to the south. Golf Club Terrace is the eastern end of their area, with West Avenue and Beacon Road marking the boundary in the opposite direction. Led by John Kirsten, the blockwatch helps create a network of like-minded residents eager to find innovative ways to fill in the gaps left by a wandering municipality.

Carrie Qualls and Amanda Snyman. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

Cleaning is one of the many ways residents can get involved to make a positive impact. John stressed that patrols don’t have to take the form of battlefield reconnaissance missions, as it would just be enough to observe what is happening in your immediate surroundings. “By having strong communication between neighbors, we can take back the parks and the streets, but we have to start somewhere,” he said.

This departure during the Len Rutter Park clean-up was organized by Amanda Snyman and Carrie Qualls, who arranged for security, refreshments and equipment. “Thanks to Leandra Real Estate and Pam Golding as well as Hoërskool Florida and their learners, Help 24, National and Rubber All for making this day a success,” said Amanda.

Colonel Tsotetsi and John Kirsten talk about strategy. Photo: Jarryd Westerdale.

To participate in Florida Blockwatch, send information or suggestions to [email protected].

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