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Pawsitively perfect: Unleash fun with your furry friends at Memorial Park

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Pawsitively perfect: Unleash fun with your furry friends at Memorial Park

Nestled in the heart of Kloof, Memorial Park is a picturesque green space that offers a perfect retreat for those seeking a quick jog, a serene picnic or just a lazy afternoon of lounging amidst the vibrant foliage. Whether you're accompanied by your furry companion or little ones, the park's well-manicured lawns and inviting walking trails provide ample space to unwind and soak in the natural beauty. The lively chatter of children, the fluttering of butterfly wings and the playful barks of dogs chasing dragonflies create an enchanting ambience that is sure to delight and rejuvenate visitors.

History and transformation
Memorial Park was established on 4 April 1945 on land that was donated by the Hickman and Johnson families in memory of their sons who were killed in World War II. Prior to 2005, Memorial Park was just a vast open space that locals made limited use of. The presence of birdlife was minimal and wildlife was non-existent. The two streams flowing through the park were severely clogged with invasive alien species and the water flow was erratic.  

In 2005, Kloof Conservancy initiated a rehabilitation project to convert the park into an indigenous habitat that would accommodate the biodiversity of the area and provide the Kloof community with a recreational facility that they could enjoy. Memorial Park went through major upgrades in recent years to make it more appealing to residents and visitors alike. The objective was to create a natural habitat where residents would have open spaces for their kids to play, as well as wetland and grassland areas where indigenous plants, birds and animals could thrive. 

The responsibility for the park's upkeep rests in the capable hands of the eThekwini Parks Department who continue to do an outstanding job maintaining the quality of this space. Thanks to the rehabilitation project spearheaded by Kloof Conservancy and the eThekwini Parks Department, the Johnson and Hickman families' dream of giving the community a flourishing asset has blossomed into a reality. 

Fauna and flora
The park is not only a place for people to enjoy, but it is also a haven for wildlife. These include a pair of nesting hamerkops that have made their home in one of the trees. A water monitor can often be seen basking in the sun or lazing near the stream, while some large spotted genets occasionally make their appearance around nightfall. Thick-billed weavers have built their intricate nests in the reeds, and a variety of bats can be seen darting through the skies at night. The park is even home to several crabs and toads. It has become a thriving ecosystem, with each species playing its part in creating a balanced and harmonious environment. 

Learn as you go
Learning about the world around us is a never-ending process, and the Kloof Conservancy has found an innovative way to make this process more accessible and engaging. With the help of their Bio Guide and QR codes, visitors to the conservancy can now learn as they go, discovering fascinating facts about the plants, animals and ecosystems they encounter on their walks.

As you wander through the park, you can scan the QR codes with your smartphone or tablet which will take you to a webpage filled with information about the fauna and flora around you. You may learn about the medicinal properties of a certain plant, the hunting habits of a bird of prey or the role of a particular insect in the local ecosystem. The information is presented in an easy-to-digest format with plenty of photos to help bring the subject matter to life. What's great about this approach is that it allows you to learn at your own pace and according to your own interests, and because the information is presented in bite-size chunks, it's easy to absorb and retain. 

'Pawsitively' welcoming
Dogs are social animals and thrive on interaction with others and Memorial Park is one of the few conservancies in the city where you can safely walk your dog. Dog-friendly parks have become increasingly popular over the years, and more and more pet owners seek out safe and welcoming spaces to exercise and socialise with their furry friends. These spaces promote physical activity and overall good mental health for both dogs and their owners. If you're bringing your pet along, be mindful of others who enjoy the recreational space as well - keep your dog on a leash if necessary and pick up after them. 

Memorial Park is a haven of natural beauty and tranquillity, where visitors of all ages can revel in the great outdoors, surrounded by wildlife and the soothing sounds of nature. With a wide range of activities to choose from, this park truly has something for everyone, whether you're seeking a peaceful picnic spot, a scenic jogging trail, or an educational experience for your little ones. The park's commitment to preserving its natural habitat and welcoming all visitors, including our furry friends, has made it a beloved destination for the community. So, if you're looking for a place to unwind and connect with nature, head to Memorial Park on Buckingham Road in Kloof, open 24 hours a day, and discover the magic for yourself

Author Shelley Residential
Published 06 Apr 2023 / Views -
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