Concern over Tokai heritage precinct

Joachim Bodenstein, Kirstenhof

The presently unused building in the Tokai Arboretum was built in 1987 to function as a museum, information and education centre.

Plans of when and how to restore the building are being discussed by various interest groups.

The original classroom should be renovated to accommodate lectures that rely on PowerPoint and other advanced features.

Visitors should also have the option of self-guided walks.

A more visible museum, together with exhibitions of cultural history and indigenous seasonal plants, can help to introduce the rich history and biodiversity of the Tokai Park to the public. There could also be an opportunity to sell indigenous and seasonal plants to arboretum visitors.

Calls to restore the building back to a tearoom are part of the plan but conflict with the original purpose of the building and fail to take into account the unique biodiversity of the arboretum.

Concerns over safety in the Tokai Arboretum and the retention of its unique biodiversity must take priority.

The precincts of Tokai Park are known for their baboon populations and the danger they pose to the public, especially when food is available. Baboons also steal personal belongings and can cause damage to vehicles.

Furthermore, the ageing trees that are blown over and shed branches should be attended to before any further planning is done on the utilisation of the building.

• The Bulletin sent this letter to SANParks on Tuesday January 4, but they did not respond by time of publication.