Roxby Council has obtained supporting funds through the State Government of South Australia to enhance the 3km Emu Walk Trail and redevelop the Hermit Street Playground located within Roxby Downs, and we are currently within the planning stage of the projects.
The Hermit Street Playground is located adjacent to the Emu Walk and provides recreational opportunities for all Roxby Downs residents, particularly those living in the eastern side of town, however the current playground is outdated, vandalised and in poor condition.
In 2014 Roxby Council conducted a Community Consultation which saw the community express their desire to see the Hermit Street Playground redeveloped as a “natural play space”. The aim of the redevelopment would be to provide a recreational space that encourages the community of Roxby Downs to embrace our environment and use their imagination to enjoy a range of outdoor developmental activities.
A path between the playground and the existing Emu Walk could be constructed to make the Hermit Street Playground more accessible. An off street car park is also being proposed thereby ensuring that congestion and traffic hazards are not created in Hermit Street.
The Roxby Council Annual Business Plan and Budget for 2018/19 has set aside $50,000 toward the Hermit Street Playground upgrade (in conjunction with the Emu Walk project). Elements of a State Government grant carried forward from the 2017/18 year will also be utilised to fund the projects.
It should also be noted that dependent upon community needs and the full allocation of land this project may need to be developed in several stages.
Nature play playgrounds have a number of characteristic elements which are quite different from the older style plastic multi-play play equipment found almost everywhere. Nature playgrounds aim to recreate natural landscapes in miniature, allowing children to play with nature. These playgrounds have contoured or uneven surfaces, sometimes with logs, steps, and a sandpit. There may be rocks to sit on, tree branches to play with, and even materials to make a cubby house. Ideally the playground will be aesthetically attractive and clean, with some natural vegetation, catering for a range of ages including toddlers and older children.
- Adelaide examples of nature play spaces –
Marshmallow Park, Glen Osmond, Adelaide
Para Wirra Nature Play, Adelaide
Image of current playground
Redevelopment of the Hermit St playground in conjunction with the Emu Trail will be subject to a number of conditions including:
- The full allocation of land
- Health & safety considerations
- Native vegetation management considerations
- The allocation of funds as per the Roxby Council Annual Business Plan and Budget for 2018/19
- Funding, grants and sponsorships received from other sources
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- How will the playground redevelopment be funded?
In its 2018-19 Annual Business Plan and Budget Roxby Council committed $50,000 toward a Hermit Street nature based play space (in conjunction with the Emu Walk project). Council has also received supporting funds through the State Government of South Australia.
- Why is nature play such a focus?
In 2014 Roxby Council conducted a Community Consultation which saw the community express their desire to see the Hermit Street Playground redeveloped as a “natural play space”.
Recent studies have found that nature based play spaces offer the best opportunity for children to play freely outdoors, testing their cognitive and physical capabilities and stimulating their senses. Nature play teaches children about living things, while providing opportunities for risk taking, social interaction and independent play.
The Hermit Street nature based play space will be inspired by Roxby’s arid environment and utilise sustainable practices where possible
We envisage that the play space could be a combination of nature play and traditional playground equipment.
- How can I get involved in the project?
There are several different ways to get involved in the project: You could become a community representative and volunteer your time to the community reference group , in-kind support is always very welcome (professional/technical expertise), or there may be other ways you would like to become involved. Simply contact Council and ask to speak to someone about the Hermit St playground upgrade to discuss your potential involvement in the project.
COMMUNITY CONSULTATION - STAGE 1:
The community was invited to provide submissions with regard to the upgrade of the Hermit St playground. An online survey was also conducted.
The consultation took place from Monday 5 November 9am to 6pm Monday 26 November 2018
A total of 78 people completed the survey. The survey aimed to capture the community's needs and desires with regard to the playground upgrade. The community was asked to respond to a number of questions including what elements are considered important when visiting a park/playground (eg: fencing, toilet facilities), how their children prefer to play, what respondents would most like to see in a nature play space and top play experiences.
A report is now being prepared for Council and the outcome published in the minutes for the December 2018, ordinary Council meeting.
Early 2019 will see the development of a range of concept designs for the playground. The concept designs will then be shared with the community in the second stage of community consultation.
The Hermit Street Playground and Emu Walk Community Reference Group will continue to meet to further develop and implement the project in 2019.