All Abilities Play Space breaks new ground
The ground has officially been broken for an All Abilities Play Space on the Nedlands Swan River foreshore in Western Australia.
Six years in the making, the $4 million community-driven project at Beaton Park in Dalkeith will provide an innovative state-of-the-art play facility for everyone – regardless of age or ability.
The large-scale, purpose-designed project was initiated by the Rotary Clubs of Nedlands, Subiaco and West Perth with the City of Nedlands providing the site and managing construction.
Project partners also include Inclusion WA, Australia’s Bridge, Lotterywest, the Disability Services Commission, WA Local Government Association, Wood and Grieve Engineers, Cardno and community members, as well as private individuals who have made generous donations towards construction, inspired by the project’s inclusive aims.
Award-winning landscape architect Fiona Robbé, who is part of an international group developing standards for inclusive playgrounds, designed the play space after intensive consultation with local user groups
The first of its kind on this scale in WA, the 10,000 sqm allocated takes advantage of the natural environment for an inclusive, inter-generational play space that caters for children with disability and their families, as well as teenagers, adults and older people.
Some of the features will include a sensory walkway, flying fox, active climbing, decks and slide, active swinging, accessible picnic areas, a community garden and kitchen, an informal sports and games area, exercise equipment, ramps and relaxation areas, parking (including ACROD bays), accessible toilets and nature, music, sand and water play areas.
City of Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins said the main idea behind the All Abilities Play Space was to bring inclusive play to the whole of Perth with everyone using the same equipment.
“This play space is about enabling participation in play for all, regardless of their age or ability,” he said.
“Research has shown the sheer fun of playing is important for everyone, helping to build physical, psychological and social health.
“It strengthens our abilities, develops our skills and brings us together – and while playing is vital for children, it’s also important for teenagers, adults and seniors.
“This All Abilities Play Space demonstrates to the whole community what can be achieved when individuals and organisations make a commitment to provide facilities that are welcoming for everyone.”