Nature inspires new play space

Article image - Nature inspires new play space Plantation Park Nature Based Play Space Community Consultation Group members (from left) Wanda Guy, Keith Kiloh, Cr Sue Perry and Cr John Woods, perusing the development plans.

Burdekin Shire Council in Queensland has found inspiration in nature for the design of a new playground that’s set to transform a popular Ayr park.

In a first for North Queensland, Ayr’s Plantation Park will soon be the home of a Nature Based Play Space, using natural materials such as rocks, sand and water in the place of commercial playground equipment to create opportunities for play, exercise and socialisation.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the project was based on Melbourne’s award-winning Royal Park, but on a smaller scale.

The idea comes after Council called on residents to share their vision for future uses of Plantation Park in a survey last year.

Mayor McLaughlin said the park – which already features a rainforest walking path, a 60m giant carpet snake statue celebrating indigenous culture, an outdoor chapel, picnic shelters and fortnightly markets – was a unique attraction for the Burdekin and wider region, with much potential for expansion.

“We really want to make this a great community precinct that reflects the relaxed lifestyle we enjoy in the Burdekin,” she said.
Mayor McLaughlin said the nature-based concept for the site was in keeping with the natural bush setting at Plantation Park and would be unique for North Queensland.

“Some of the highlights of the park include an interactive water play area and creek bed; fossil digs; swings; a rope balance bridge and net climb and a sensory respite garden with seating.

“The hero of the development will be a proposed multi-level fortress with hiding nooks, rock and rope climbs and an elevated viewing area.”

Council has allocated $469,000 in its 2017/18 Budget to develop the Nature Based Play Space thanks to the Queensland Government’s Works for Queensland program.