Hollard, Jozi Trails and Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo launch the Jozi Trails pilot project
Imagine enjoying a scenic bike ride or an early morning run through one of the many Braamfontein Spruit trail routes in Jozi, without having to worry about your safety or accidents caused by poorly maintained paths?
That dream will soon be a reality for Johannesburg’s outdoor lovers, thanks to a brand-new partnership between Hollard and the Jozi Trails Pilot Project – a non-profit initiative in association with the Johannesburg City Parks & Zoo whose sole aim is to uplift the trail network along Johannesburg’s beautiful ‘green lung’ – the Braamfontein Spruit.
“The parks and trails that surround the beautiful Braamfontein Spruit attract thousands of people each year, who come to enjoy a scenic bike ride, take their dogs for a walk, or simply take in a breath of fresh air on a brisk walk. However, the sections along the Spruit have long been in need of some TLC,” says Albert van Urk, Director & Chief Spruit Junkie at Jozi Trails.
As part of the partnership, Hollard has invested R1.5 million towards the much-needed upliftment of the trail network along the Braamfontein Spruit, which includes aesthetic improvements to the parks and trails. The project also emphasises the need for ongoing maintenance and improved safety measures. This will improve the overall experience for trail riders and runners alike, creating a sustainable trail system that can be used for a range of recreational purposes.
“Jo’burgers are already familiar with the issues that plague our city’s beautiful parks – from the safety risks to the aesthetic problems, there’s plenty to be done,” says Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing Officer at Hollard. “We’re eager to get the process of reinvigorating and beautifying more of these spaces for all Jo’burgers, and cannot wait to see the parks and trails along the Spruit flourish as beautiful, safe and well-maintained spots for all.”
Hollard and Jozi Trails have started by upgrading the first 11kms of trails along the Spruit. The first of a three-phase project plan focusing on improvements to the Delta Park section of the Spruit is already underway, with the Delta Park trails already completed.
Some of the challenges that still need to be addressed include land erosion, inadequate drainage, unclear routing on trails, criminal activity, and even conflicts between the groups of people who frequent the park.
“We chose Delta Park as the pilot site for the project because of it’s location, popularity and the fact that it is one of biggest and busiest open public spaces in Johannesburg,” says Louise Gordon, EM: Business Development and Stakeholder Management at Johannesburg City Parks. “We knew that focusing our efforts on this specific park to begin with would give us a good introduction to the types of challenges we would be facing going forward.”