Faro park reopens at last

FARO’S PRINCIPAL recreation ground, Jardim da Alameda João de Deus, has finally reopened following a major refurbishment project.

More than two months later than originally planned, the city’s park, which dates back to 1848, was reopened to the public at the end of last week by Faro Câmara President, José Vitorino, together with José Brito, the architect responsible for the project.

Ideal location for under 5s

The park is the main leisure area for young children inFaro City and parents have been angered by its continued closure, since there is no comparable alternative. Due to its abundance of palm trees, the park has always provided an ideal location for babies and toddlers, because they can be pushed in their prams out of the hot sun.

The park was closed for refurbishment back in March this year and was originally planned to reopen on June 1 (World Children’s Day), in time for the summer (see March 10 issue of The Resident).

The Resident contacted Faro Câmara several times last month to find out the reason for the continuing delays. After several attempts to gain a response, The Resident reporter Caroline Cunha was finally told by a Câmara spokesperson that the delay was due to an alteration to the original project and that “no date is known at the present moment for its reopening”.

Better late than never

More than half a million euros has been spent on the refurbishment work and the facelift has given the park a much needed new image, which will be warmly welcomed by its visitors, young and old.

Two years of careful preparation went into the project, which allowed for the planting of 652 new trees and bushes. The mini golf course has been remodelled and now includes a water feature with a cascade, and a new pond has been built for the park’s swans and ducks.

Always popular with the children, the rabbits, guinea pigs and budgerigars have had their cages upgraded and the walls now boast attractive, dark blue tiles. The aviary has been upgraded and enlarged by six metres in height, and various new birds have been purchased to add to the park’s existing collection.

The children’s activity area is now better defined and there is also a more comfortable area for parents to sit and watch their children play. Pathways and pavements received attention and 50 new benches, 40 rubbish bins and three brand new picnic tables have been installed. The park also boasts its very own maze.

The Jardim Romântico do Caracol, which was once a popular setting for wedding photography, had become very unkempt but has now been given a new lease of life thanks to the introduction of new species of botanical plants and water features.

Two attractive waterfalls have now been included, one in the mini golf area and one in the Parque Geriátrico (geriatric park), an area for older visitors with exercise equipment to strengthen the muscles and keep the joints working! As well as adding to the park’s aesthetic appeal, the waterfalls will also help minimise exterior noise.

There is a new kiosk selling drinks and ice creams, and the construction of a new cafeteria, selling meals and snacks, is also planned for the near future.

Along with all these improvements, the exterior lighting system and signage have also been overhauled.

The final phase of the refurbishment, yet to be completed, will see the rebuilding of a sports ground and pavilion.

Câmara’s green strategy

Faro Câmara’s strategy is to upgrade the existing parks and create more green spaces, in order to make the borough more attractive, thus increasing the quality of life for residents and, in turn, to attract more visitors.