Things To Do in Melrose ArchJames and Ethel Gray Park
Where? Melrose Street, Melrose Arch, Gauteng.
When? Please Contact
How? Call +27 (0)11 435-4727
How much? Free
Locals who live close to James and Ethel Gray Park claim the park has the best sunrise view in the city. Early risers head to the park with their children and dogs, and the R5 million upgrade the park received around 2007 means the park is well kept, and the gorgeous views out over the city preserved for those who enjoy them.
It is a small park close to the suburb of Birdhaven, just south of Melrose Arch, and started its life as a bird sanctuary - hence the rather apt name for the suburb closest to the park. Its 36 hectares are fed by the Sandspruit River that winds through a series of landscaped lawns, indigenous vegetation, walkways and benches. James and Ethel Gray Park provides a green lung in an otherwise rather built up residential part of the city, giving local residents in a high-density area an escape environment that offers a space for reflection and walking.
Its steep banks are what make for the views out over the city so, whilst these same slopes might limit any use of the park for recreational space, the open grassy areas, the terraces, the stillness of the park (bar the traffic noise) and the views are what makes it such a haven for those who use it.
In the heart of the park, on a rise, is the Katyn Forest Memorial - a simple plaque built in 1981 to commemorate the Katyn Massacre. Regarded as the most important Polish-founded monument in South Africa, it symbolises the bonds between South African and Polish communities.
As with all parks in Johannesburg, go in groups if you can.