The new playground will cater for a wide range of visitors to the St Ives Showground. Funding for the playground upgrade has been assisted by the NSW Metropolitan Greenspace Grant Program.
Set within the remnant edge of Duffy’s Forest bushland, the new playground will have a range of play equipment and nature-play experiences for all ages and abilities. The design has been prepared by specialist playground designer, Fiona Robbe Landscape Architect, together with Council’s landscape architects and other technical staff.
The concept design includes a range of play areas for nature play and structured play experiences linked by an accessible pathway network.
View concept plan (pdf. 2MB).
Nature play areas
Nature play areas are for unstructured play. They offer timber, rocks, loose materials (mud, dirt, pebbles, twigs, leaves and sand) intermingled with plants.
This means children can explore beyond play equipment and use their curiosity for play activities within their own capabilities.
Structured play areas
Structured play areas are located throughout the playground and targeted at key users.
Inclusive play area for everyone (all ages, all abilities)
This area is relatively level and close to parking and amenities. There are swinging, spinning, balancing and rocking experiences catering for a variety of abilities set within shade trees.
Some places are for quiet retreat and a variety of sensory play opportunities.
There is seating linked with accessible pathways to toilets and parking, bubblers, other adjacent play areas and surrounding bushland.
Younger children's play area (6 years and under)
Designed specifically for this age group, there are cubby houses, a low slide, shop nooks, and a farm/showground play setting.
The scale of play elements is smaller but challenging for motor-skills and developing social, cognitive and emotional capabilities.
Older children's play area (6 years and older)
Fun and challenge are encouraged by rope climbing, high slides, elevated enclosed rope walkways, a double flying fox, and a giant birds nest swing. Children can test themselves, expend energy and take risks in safety.
Due to the topography the playground is not fully accessible, but there is accessible parking, toilets, picnic areas, pathways and play spaces.
The site is well shaded by existing trees and additional trees will be planted. The playground will be securely fenced to a minimum height of 1.2m high and gates with latches compliant with disability access needs.
The design caters for children and their carers and supervision is a requirement. Facilities include seats with backs and armrests, picnic tables and shelters, toilets, bubbler and tap, bins, bike racks, wayfinding and information signs.
The Showground site contains protected vegetation called the Duffy’s Forest vegetation community. Areas beyond the playground will benefit from protection and staged regeneration of trees and other vegetation.
Play equipment such as windmills and timber animal sculptures will reflect the showground’s agricultural history. The playground is respectful of the natural landscape as well as responding sensitively to the history of the site.
Construction of the new playground commenced in August 2019 and the playground and expected to finish in September 2020.
View construction photos (pdf. 7MB).
Warwick Brown, Project Manager at Ku-ring-gai Council on 9424 0000.