Celebrating renewed playspaces co-designed with the communities they’re created for

14 December, 2023Posted in: Community
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Images from playspace activations

In partnership with the communities who co-designed with Wingecarribee Shire Council, the first three of 48 playspace renewal projects, have been unveiled in Mittagong and Moss Vale parks in early December.  To celebrate the new safe, accesible and inclusive playspaces, community members were invited to join special fun days in the first few neighbourhoods that have received them.  They enjoyed a free BBQ, coffee, music and prizes at Cook Street in Mittagong, Church Road Oval and Ritchie Park in Moss Vale.

We partnered with Moss Vale Football Club on a free community BBQ for celebrations at Church Road Oval Playspace. Dozens of junior players took part in a treasure hunt for free picnic blankets while enjoying the new safe and inclusive play equipment. Some club staff took the opportunity to have their faces painted along with the kids.

Club President Glenn Wallace said, “We would like to thank Council for the upgrades. From the first consultation to installation the process was efficient and well managed. We are thankful for the continued relationship with the Council and hope to partner on more projects in the future.”

At Ritchie Park in Moss Vale, Jake and his team from the Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong ran the free community BBQ there. Many people took the opportunity to have their grandchildren visit to enjoy the occasion together.

Tim Walker Smith, whose daughter Melinda set the renewal of Mittagong’s Cook Street playspace in motion with a letter to Council, said “there was a rewarding sense of community spirit as our neighbourhood came together to celebrate such a great outcome of our journey with Council on this project.” The team from Argyle Housing, who manage properties around the area, put on a free sausage sizzle.

At all three celebrations, Council added to the fun with free White Waratah face-painting, live music vibes from local acoustic guitarist Nic Lee, and WSC picnic blanket giveaways. Interchange Australia’s unique social enterprise, the CoffeeChange mobile coffee cart was on hand with iced lattes to take the edge off a hot day.

“Collaborating with Council on these community celebrations has been a wonderful introduction to Wingecarribee for CoffeeChange,” says Interchange Australia’s Shayleen Brydon. “CoffeeChange is all about providing pathways to open employment for locals living with a disability, and helping them to feel more connected to their community. All of the clubs and community members involved loved the idea of being part of making a life changing difference, just by enjoying great coffee!”

The playspace renewals across our Shire are guided by close consultation with the local community. In line with Council’s Playspace Strategy adopted in 2020, together we are building safe, accessible and inclusive gathering places that better meet the needs and expectations of our current and future communities. “it’s been so rewarding for our team to re-connect with the community members who provided input to the vision and design for their local playspace, at these celebrations,” says WSC Project Manager Matt Harvey.

Council has invested $340K in these three Playspace upgrades, supported by additional funding of $155K through the NSW Government Everyone Can Play program and $118K through the Stronger Country Communities fund. Improvements include greater accessibility, colourful and inclusive new play equipment integrated with nature-play areas, with shade sails and seating to encourage connection.

For weekly updates on projects like this across our shire join Council’s Your Shire e-news https://www.wsc.nsw.gov.au/Council/Newsletters