Dog park project needs help

The Arnold Dog Park in Observatory.

Some Observatory residents have come together to spruce up the Arnold Dog Park and they hope their efforts will bring the community closer together.

The group, Figs and Grass, was formed earlier this year after some residents decided to plant grass and sour figs in the park, which they felt was looking a little patchy. The group now has 41 members who are eager to create a better space for their furry friends.

Member Sansu Visagie says another operation involved digging out grass at a house in Monte Vista after the homeowner advertised grass on Facebook marketplace.

“We transported about three bakkie loads of grass and topsoil into the park. Since then, we have dug large trenches in clay areas that have been barren from day zero. We then filled those trenches with rubble and building sand to act as a filtration system.

“We also worked in compost and topsoil into that and other areas in the park to prepare the ground for planting grass in the spring. We received a huge donation of compost from Stark Ayres but quickly realised that the huge donation was only a drop in the bucket.”

Ms Visagie says that while digging the trenches they realised the soil was low in nutrients and it was going to take a lot more work and donations to improve it.

She says they also want to repaint a mural at the park, sand down the benches and repaint them, plant crawlers along the palisade, have a small herb garden and hold dog-training sessions to make the dog park more enjoyable for everyone.

“We want the best for our dogs and the community. We want the park to be a peaceful sanctuary from how crazy life can get out there. The joy of it is that community members contribute what they have to give. Some have knowledge and others have the kind of stamina to work for hours.”

Patricia van der Ross, mayoral committee member for community services and health, says the City does weekly general cleaning and tree and irrigation maintenance when required at the park but there are no plans to upgrade it at this time.

Ms Visagie says the community is at the heart of the project and she hopes more residents will support it.

“The park is something that the people in Obs will be able to look at and know that they were part of a great cause – a community project that also lifts the area they stay in.”

To find out more, visit the group’s Instagram page, Figs and Grass Arnold Dog Park.

The group wants the mural repainted.
The group recently dug trenches to prepare the ground for planting grass.
Phries soaking up the sun.