Mallee Playground Trail Projects - Drought Communities Fund
Mallee Playground Trail
Following consultation with local youth regarding the Drought Communities Program funding granted to council, significant importance was placed on playground development and creating engaging spaces for locals and visitors alike. Karoonda has established itself as a popular ‘pit stop’ for travellers and is working towards becoming a destination in its own right in the near-future. Access to quality play infrastructure will encourage both community and economic activity, which will in turn support local initiatives and build community capacity. It was determined that three towns within our district, Wynarka, Karoonda and Wanbi would benefit from new play spaces and will be linked to form the ‘Mallee Playground Trail.’
Playground design and manufacture specialists, Forpark SA, were awarded the contract to work with council, the newly established Youth Advisory Committee, and local children in the development of the play spaces. In addition to the Drought Communities Funding, Council received additional funding for the playgrounds project through the People and Places Grant.
The Karoonda playground is set to become a flagship playground experience, boasting the only three level summit tower in South Australia. Through workshops and consultation with the YAC, it was apparent that the children envisioned a ‘show-stopper’ playground featuring eye catching and engaging equipment that visitors couldn’t resist visiting (or would make a day-tip especially for). The students also discussed and decided on a space theme for the space – connecting it to the historical Karoonda Meteorite.
Another important aspect flagged by consultation with school students, was the desire for nature play which has been included in the design for Wanbi Reserve as well as natural toned traditional play equipment. An accessible public toilet will also be installed within the reserve to compliment the playground and existing shelter, creating a family friendly pit-stop and destination on the Karoonda Highway.
The existing equipment from the Karoonda playground will be refurbished and installed to re-invigorate the Wynarka Recreation Reserve grounds. After discussion with the Recreation Committee, it was determined that to ensure children’s safety, the new playground will be constructed in front of the clubrooms.
Earthworks and construction to begin in September and a official opening planned for 21 December 2020.