The new Heritage Playspace at the Bendigo Botanic Gardens has won the 2014 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Award for Public Playspaces under $500,000.
The biennial Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards, which were announced this week, recognise excellence and innovation in the provision of safe, creative playspaces. The awards also promote inspirational and innovative best practice play facilities and encourage healthy participation in recreational activities for all children.
City of Greater Bendigo Director of Presentation and Assets Darren Fuzzard said the Bendigo Botanic Gardens heritage garden play space was selected from over 60 entries.
“We are absolutely delighted that the playspace has been recognised through this important national award.
“The Bendigo Botanic Garden’s playspace was designed in-house by the City of Greater Bendigo’s Public Space Design Unit in 2013 and was constructed for $175,000.
“Since opening the playspace has proven to be a real hit among visitors to the Botanic Gardens and the City has received a great deal of positive feedback.
“It’s testament to the great work the City’s staff do in designing and constructing facilities for our community and for visitors to our region,” said Mr Fuzzard.
The design of the heritage playspace was inspired by 19th century style gardens of delight and the timeless children’s literature that’s set in them. Students from White Hills and Holy Rosary Primary School contributed to the design which features a range of play equipment for climbing swinging, jumping and rocking, a secret garden complete with a variety of sensory and imaginative play opportunities, a croquet lawn, vege patch, a vine covered arbour and a decorative musical fence,
The judges of the 2014 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards commented that the Bendigo Botanic Gardens Heritage playspace had a strong environmental and sustainability focus and provided variety for all ages while incorporating children’s literature themes from the Victorian era.
Erica Edmands, Kidsafe Victoria President, highlighted the importance of play, saying that it helps children to develop physical strength, coordination, balance, social skills and imagination.
“It is important that playspaces are designed to provide children with the opportunity to develop, challenge themselves and test their skills in a safe environment. Safe play does not have to be boring, as is demonstrated in the exciting playspaces receiving awards today”, said Ms Edmands.