Wednesday, September 4, 2019
We've been blown away by the positive response on the draft plans for the new all-ages, all-abilities playground to be built at Thomas Street Reserve in Hampton. Thank you to everyone who attended our drop-in sessions and contributed online and at Hampton Library.Your feedback will be used to shape the final design that will be presented to Council for approval.
Consultation closed on Sunday 8 September.
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Thomas Street Playground Reference Group representative Jo Levett lives close to the Thomas Street playground, and uses it daily for herself and daughter Abigail.
“The draft plan is very impressive,” she said.
“Abigail has a disability and can’t walk on tan bark, and if we are using her wheelchair it is difficult to push through, so paved pathways are gold for us as well as parents with prams and older people.”
Council engaged leading playspace designer Ric Mc Conaghy to re-design Thomas Street into an inclusive and integrated playground.
“This is a result of many hours consulting with children and teachers from local primary schools and special development schools, workshops with the reference group, and information days with the wider community to get a vibe about what people think about outdoor play.
“The trick was to get people thinking about Thomas Street as a community space, avoiding a shopping list of wishes, and guiding them towards the poetry of creating a space everyone could use.
Equipment like swings and slides for all abilities and two flying foxes - one featuring a harness – are included and the seating and barbecue areas cleverly circle the main playspace.
“It has a sense of welcome, focusing on all abilities but extending beyond the physical to include eye and ear impairments, and autism where sensory elements, texture, tactile games, and natural elements like rocks, stones, sand and water, have a place.”
Jo said Ric had listened to the community and delivered what was needed and wanted.
“Ric has really nailed it in terms of ticking a box for everyone,” she said. “It is going to be the best park in Bayside.”
Construction is due to start on the new playground in 2020 with completion in early 2021.
Artist's impression of new playground