Big questions about where to put a new regional playground

Big questions about where to put a new regional playground

The giant turtle water feature and treehouse at the very popular Bibra Lake Regional Playground.

The ball has started rolling on establishing a regional playground within the ‘hyper-growth corridor’ of the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, after strong community desire for one.

Regional playgrounds become a major drawcard for the local area, with a quick search yielding hundreds of ‘Mummy’ blogs which rate each playground on their merits and advertise them to a wide readership of parents eager for the next low-cost adventure to take their tribe on.

Most regional playgrounds comprise a range of learning, exploring and play functions, supporting a range of experiences for various age groups.

They are generally built as a facility which can support a whole day visit, with elements like barbecues and shade pavilions attracting a diverse range of visits and events.

Given the size of the facility, they tend to cost up to $10 million and require full-time maintenance.

Examples nearby include Bibra Lake Regional Playground (City of Cockburn), The Harbour Playground (City of Rockingham), Hotham Park (Shire of Boddington) and the Kwinana Adventure Playground (City of Kwinana).

Given the appeal of having one of these in one’s ‘backyard’, the question of where to locate one in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale is the first big consideration.

A motion was brought to council in April, which asked councillors to vote on a shortlist of locations.

“The aim of this project is to look to the future and determine where best to preserve a location for the shire’s regional level playground facility,” shire officers said.

“This future focus is important, especially as the urban front begins moving through Mundijong and Whitby, delivering a rapid rise in growth in this area, in addition to the rapid growth also taking place in Byford.

“A preferred location allows the shire to develop a strong narrative in order to successfully advocate for funding, given it will need to rely heavily on external grants to meet the expected capital cost of between $5 – 10 million.”

The shortlisted options are: Woodland Grove Public Open Space, Cardup Brook (co-located near future Orton Road District Open Space), Keirnan Park, and Clem Kentish Reserve.

The shire is asking for community feedback about preferred locations.

Submissions are currently being accepted, and will continue to be until 4pm June 7.

Surveys can be done online via the Your Say SJ portal on the shire’s website. Hard copies can also be collected and submitted through the shire offices in Mundijong.