Beautiful Girl

Street Life photography

Beautiful Girl

Street Life photography

Beautiful Girl

Street Life photography

Our Children’s Wilderness Park is a community-centric space that encourages youth development and community wellness while facilitating eco-tourism. Bringing together ‘wilderness’ and ‘nature play’, these parks are deliberately designed to foster exploration, encouraging children to feel the weather, experience the elements, discover creatures and respond to nature’s cues.

Installation design; choice of materials; interaction zones and areas of stimulation; environmental treatment and rehabilitation all reflect a wilderness ethos in a safe and nurturing environment.

Where many protected nature areas forbid interaction with the natural environment, our Children’s Wilderness Park is built around the notion of children leaving their mark.

Our destinations are ripe for the creation of more wilderness playgrounds please get in touch if you would like to partner in their development.

 

The Inanda Wilderness Park is an important collaboration between the eThekwini Municipality Economic Development Unit, Green Corridors, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the Inanda Seminary School and other related stakeholders as it brings together disparate partners in a novel relationship with the focus being improving life of communities through a park system. This project served as a pilot concept in order to transfer this concept to our other sites in other communities.

This new initiative focuses on the utilizing of a park to meet developmental and lifespan needs for a community across the lifespan. Although initially developed as a Wilderness Park, the needs of children within a Southern African context call upon the designers to meet development needs across multiple levels, which has resulted in a mixed used design with wilderness elements.

The aim of the Inanda Wilderness Park is to create a community park which fosters the attainment of developmental goals across the lifespan, offers opportunities for collaborative and individual growth and promotes community wellness.

Where it is situated?

Inanda is situated roughly 24KM North West of Durban within the uMhlangane River Catchment. The site is situated at the headwaters of the Gobhogobho River within an open land owned by the Inanda Seminary School.

The assigned land was appropriate as Inanda Seminary had wished to preserve their environmentally restricted natural open space to encourage educational and recreational use. Previously the land was home to criminal activities, land invasions, dumping as well as cattle grazing and cultural activities. 

City of Bremen and Durban Partnership: How was the wilderness park born?

The design of green open spaces is a recurring and central task for the climate partnership between Bremen and Durban in the context of sustainable urban and settlement development. Situated in Bremen, Germany, Kinderwildnis is a natural playground where children can experience nature. The Inanda Wilderness Park project was envisioned to be like the Kinderwildnis with an environmental emphasis.

A delegation from eThekwini Municipality visited Bremen and viewed the Kinderwildnis concept. They had then wanted to implement it in Durban. The eThekwini Municipality Economic Development Unit has been the driving support and financer of the project. Green Corridors has been operating in the uMhlangane River Catchment in the INK (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu) area since 2013. To begin the project, Durban Green Corridors had begun alien invasive plant clearing from 2013. In 2013/4 a Bremen volunteer assisted in the initial design and landscape of the wilderness park. From 2013, stakeholder engagements had begun. The plan was to develop and plan the project in collaboration with these stakeholders, however they only wanted to be involved once the project was established. Bremen stakeholders visited South Africa to provide input into the development of the site in 2017.

Adapting to The South African Context

South African children within rural communities have access to wilderness elements but have limited access to outdoor equipment and often express fears of public natural spaces & have been shown to equate home with ‘safety’. This often results in global developmental delays. Looking at developmental norms, the needs in our country and incorporating elements of the Kinderwildnis concept, we identified the importance of adapting the project to the South African Context.

A collaboration was established with the Occupational Therapy Department from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in 2016. Occupational Therapy practitioners utilize human occupation as the intervention media to promote health and well-being. Occupational Therapists play an integral role in early childhood development, developmental milestones, recreational engagement and overall community wellness Outdoor play is vital to a child’s cognitive, emotional, physiological, physical and social development. The Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park was designed to include universal access including people with disabilities. The Inanda Children’s Wilderness Park is run by an Occupational Therapist and is a fieldwork clinical learning site for fourth year Occupational Therapy students from UKZN.   

Environmental Education and Conservation of the wetland plays an important role as other projects fall within the uMhlangane catchment area. Tourism is important as Inanda consists of many interesting heritage sites.  

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