Lions Clubs creating a legacy

Sandy van Heerden and Sandra Erasmus from the Lions Club 410B district. Photo: Adéle Bloem

To celebrate their centenary year, the Lions Club International has been challenged to launch a project that will leave a legacy.

This moved the clubs in District 410B (Helderkruin, Wilro Park, Roodepoort, Weltevreden Park, Magaliesburg and Krugersdorp) to do something that will change the experience for visually impaired visitors at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens.

According to Sandy van Heerden, the public relations officer for the Lions Club in Wilro Park, they are planning to start a sensory garden, which will be called the Lions Sensory Garden Trail for the Blind. “We are working closely with the management at the botanical gardens as well as Phillip Jordaan from the Association for the Blind, who will ensure the braille signage is done correctly,” a clearly excited Sandy said.

She said they decided to do something specifically for the visually impaired as this has always been a matter close to their hearts. “We have always been aware of people battling with this type of disability, and the challenges they face. The Lions Clubs International was challenged by Hellen Keller to be knights for the blind, and we – as an association – have taken this challenge to heart,” she said.

The criteria for this project included that it must be something that would be good for the environment and something that will leave a legacy. “We felt that creating a sensory garden fulfilled the environmental criteria and would leave a legacy, as it will be here forever,” said Sandy.

The botanical gardens allocated an existing garden trail – The People’s Garden – to the Lions for their project. The trail will be upgraded with new paving stones (allowing the visitors to identify the path), braille signage, and ropes on both sides of the path. The project will start in February and the planned completion date is set for March. “We would like to launch this new trail in April, but will confirm with the garden’s management exactly when it will take place,” Sandy said.

Sandra Erasmus from the Helderkruin Lions, which is also an integral part of this project, said she is very excited with the prospect of the new trail. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know we are working together, not as individuals, to do something for the community. The gardens will be maintained by the Lions Clubs and will always be part of the Lions Clubs’ projects,” Sandra said. Sandy added, “This will not only be a trail for the visually impaired, but could benefit other people from the community as well.”

For more information or queries, please contact Sandy van Heerden on 083 564 6388 or Sandra Erasmus on 079 527 9143.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at [email protected] (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites Randfontein HeraldKrugersdorp News and Get It Joburg West Magazine

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Adéle Bloem

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