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Willoughby City Council moves forward with new accessible and challenging playground

Willoughby City Council moves forward with new accessible and challenging playground
June 17, 2020

Willoughby City Council are currently constructing a new accessible and challenging playground at Willoughby Park, designed to incorporate play equipment suggested from community consultations.

In April 2019 Council asked the community for feedback on what improvements they would like to see in the playground and following a second round of feedback on the draft playground improvement plan - the plan was adopted by Council in November 2019.

While Willoughby City Council changed much of their business operations during the COVID-19 health alert and restrictions, their on-going playground renewals continued as normal. 

As such, the new playground, funded by Council at a cost of $500,000, commenced construction in March 2020 and is due for completion at the end of June 2020 with the playspace providing a variety of challenging and engaging play opportunities.

Improved access has been designed around the NSW Government's guidelines 'Everyone Can Play' with accessible seating and equipment included in the design such as a boat swing, a basket swing, trampolines, musical play and quiet garden with totems.

Ample natural shade is provided by the existing tree canopy with accessible seating options having been added to the already extensive seating.  A picnic shelter is planned over two new accessible picnic settings beside the BBQ.

Some of the play equipment manufacturer and suppliers contributing to the new Willoughby Playground include Proludic, Playrope, Play Workshop and Moduplay.

Proludic are installing the ever popular in-ground trampolines and wide embankment slide with Playrope installing their climbing net with slide and Moduplay their boat swing seat.

Commenting on the new playground design Willoughby City Council Chief Executive, Debra Just notes "our residents love their green spaces so Willoughby takes great pride in providing beautiful, accessible and well maintained playgrounds, parks and ovals for the community. They have provided a great refuge during COVID restrictions and we know that this is appreciated by our residents with 83% of respondents describing our maintenance as either 'good' or 'very good' in our most recent community perception survey."

The original Willoughby playground was built in 2006 and with the construction of the new playground Willoughby Council was presented with recycling opportunities. Old playground equipment has been donated to NGO Build Your Future where it will be sent to Cambodia for reuse.

Some of the old rubber softfall will be ground to a pulp and recycled to be used as a crumb layer on new surfacing with the process to be carried out by NSW-based Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces.

Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces Director, Mark Cunningham advises “we have established a way to reduce waste by using old rubber from playgrounds, putting it back through machinery and then using the granulated rubber again in a new playground as base rubber.

“This eliminates thousands of tons of waste going into landfill", adding that “we are constantly looking at ways to reduce waste … and this scheme this doesn’t only reduce the waste but saves 1,000s of tons of waste going into landfill.”

Just added "while working with our community to develop our ten-year strategic plan it was obvious that sustainability is important to our residents. As such, we have made it a priority to create and enhance our green spaces and reduce our carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. I am thrilled that we have been able to continue our great work in this space by reusing and recycling the old equipment and materials from Willoughby Park Playground, both here and overseas."

New Playground features and suppliers include:

  • Elevated tower with rope bridge (Andrew Smith Timber Creations) with mesh by Tensile
  • Custom-made tunnel slide (Play Workshop)
  • In-ground trampolines (Proludic)
  • Wide embankment slide (Proludic)
  • Two sets of quad swings (Play Workshop)
  • Boat swing seat (Moduplay)
  • Tripod basket swing (Lark Industries)
  • Climbing net with slide (Playrope)
  • Trike track signposts (Play Workshop)
  • Babbel drum (Lark Industries)
  • Marble run (Andrew Smith Timber Creations)
  • Picnic table (Strabe)
  • Bench seat and platform seat (Stoddart Town & Park)
  • Picnic shelter (Landmark Products)

Click here to contact Proludic via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory. 
For more information click here to contact Playrope via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory. 
Click here for more information on Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces
Click here for more information on Moduplay 
Click here for more information on Play Workshop  

Image: Construction of the new Willoughby Park Playground. Elevated tower and slide installed.

Related Articles

10th December 2019 - Synthetic Grass and Rubber Surfaces launches scheme to recycle old playground rubber surfaces

17th May 2017 - Proludic launches new nature inspired play equipment

6th July 2016 - Proludic Flourishes at Good Design Awards

14th March 2019 - Willoughby City Council opens synthetic turf oval at Gore Hill Park

3rd August 2018 - New technology delivers significant water savings at Willoughby Leisure Centre

3rd June 2012 - Plans on display for new Willoughby Leisure Centre

3rd March 2011 - Century Venues to manage Willoughby City Council ‘The Concourse’ venue

14th May 2020 - Bega Valley Shire Council delivers new imaginative playgrounds

5th May 2020 - Adelaide Hills Council reopens playgrounds and recreation facilities

19th April 2020 - Wagga Wagga Riverside rejuvenation to include event spaces and adventure playgrounds

17th November 2019 - Auckland Council secures awards for parks and playgrounds excellence

30th October 2019 - PLA presents national awards for excellence in parks, playgrounds and facilities

14th October 2019 - Wellington City Council consultation sees playgrounds transition to play spaces

11th April 2019 - Upgrades commence on Blacktown playgrounds

4th April 2019 - Upgrades announced for Darwin playgrounds

27th March 2019 - Futura Form launches golf-themed playgrounds

9th April 2018 - NSW Government reveals $290 million funding for open spaces and playgrounds

25th February 2018 - Children’s play must include ‘good’ risk

24th April 2020 - Play Australia highlights children’s health matters to World Health Organization

25th March 2020 - Play Australia advises that while playgrounds close outdoor play is fine


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