Johannesburg City Parks set a world record in 2007 by creating the first park developed in just 24 hours.
Now the award-winning XtremePark Makeover is an annual event, held to mark World Environment Week. The idea, based on the well-known television series, Extreme Makeover Home, is to turn a once derelict piece of land into a luscious green park complete with fountains, play equipment and recreational facilities.
The concept behind the project is to create hype and excitement about developing green open spaces in the city; to address the huge backlog in developing facilities in communities in an innovative way.
In doing so, City Parks hopes to attract corporate support and global attention towards city parks, and open up opportunities for funding and sponsorship.
In 2007, 200 hard-working members of the City transformed a barren piece of land in Wilgeheuwel, Roodepoort, into a charming, landscaped 1,22-hectare park, complete with lighting, trees, a mini-soccer field and a fountain.
In 2008, a dusty corner in Soweto was transformed into the 2 hectare Diepkloof XtremePark, complete with a splash pool, a mini-soccer field, a multipurpose court, a natural amphitheatre area with a big television screen, and ablution facilities.
It took a mere six hours to turn a bare patch of land into an attractive green space in Soweto in 2009. The Protea Glen XtremePark boasts a fountain, a mini soccer field, a playing area and a braai area.
In 2010, Claremont XtremePark was created, fully equipped with playground essentials, park furniture, a water feature, an amphitheatre, a mini soccerfield, braai facilities, painted murals and over 3 300m² of landscaped lawn.
It took 10 hours of intense labour to build this XtremePark in April 2011, but once if was complete 250 indigenous trees had been planted, and a basketball court and a mini soccer field were ready to use. The Pimville park also has playground equipment, grassed picnic spots and braai facilities.
June 2011 saw the transformation of a barren corner of Ivory Park turn into a green haven filled with children’s play equipment, recycling stations and upgraded netball and soccer fields