Media Response on Monash playgrounds
Published on 09 August 2021
Do you have elaborate playgrounds in the City of Monash that have either opened in recent years, or are about to open?
Monash’s first sensory playground at Wellesley Road Reserve offers a play experience designed to engage children with additional needs. It features accessible pathways with different artworks and textures, sound sculptures, a wavy mirror and seated spinner, plus a sensory garden trail to complement the traditional play pieces. It also has a picnic table, bench seating, drinking fountain and grassed area: Wellesley Road Reserve (monash.vic.gov.au). There’s also the new playground at Waverley Park, funded by the estate’s developer, Mirvac. Mirvac will have more details about that playground if needed.
What's the playground with the biggest budget that's opened in the council area, or is about to open?
Our biggest playground is at Valley Reserve in Mount Waverley, which has become an award-winning regional destination playground. The playspace won the Parks and Leisure Australia’s 2016 National Award of Excellence for development of a Major Playspace ($0.5M+) for its vibrant all-ages features in a hidden gem of natural bushland, and for its SPARC (Socially inclusive, Playful, Active, Relevant and Connected) design. It also won the 2016 National Kidsafe play award for the best playspace in the $500,000-$1 million category.
Valley Reserve was designed by Playce Pty Ltd on behalf of Council and opened in September 2015. The overall project cost was $660,000. Council also funded the second stage of the project to upgrade a public toilet and the car park.
What sort of features does it have?
Among other things, the Valley Reserve playspace features rope climbing courses, a tree house and flying foxes. Its mix of traditional play elements (swings, slides) and ropes, logs and other structures promote balance, climbing and fitness. Natural materials are used where possible to ensure the playground blends into its 15ha bushland reserve surrounds.
Does Monash have a program of replacing old playgrounds or building new playgrounds?
One council said it is replacing all its playgrounds - is your council similar to that?
We’re not replacing all playgrounds but we do have a playground strategy that allows us to update about half a dozen playgrounds a year. Over the last seven years, Council has upgraded 42 of its 140 playgrounds (including two fitness stations) across Monash at a total cost of approximately $7.26M.
Issued: 9 July 2021
To: The Age
Quoting: Mayor Brian Little