Ballarat’s newest inclusive playground opened on Friday – in rail, hail and no shine.
Mayor Des Hudson officially declared Pennyweight Park in Otway Street open and thanked Pinarc Disability Support, Canadian Lead Primary School and local residents for their support.
“This is a great opportunity to recognise the enormous transformation of the Pennyweight Park area,” Cr Hudson said.
“This is what we wanted our park to look like.”
“I am very thankful to everyone who got involved in the project.”
Cr Hudson said Ballarat City Council funded the $100,000 project, which is similar to the Lake Esmond playground rejuvenation of 12 months ago.
“I hope the community gets an enormous amount of pleasure from using it – in weather that’s better than today.
“We’ve developed it from grassroots with the local community.”
The council’s community development manager Pete Appleton said the focus at Pennyweight Park had been to work with local residents on how the space was used.
“It clearly came through that they wanted us to put some money in it, invest in it,” Mr Appleton said.
He said the playground now included full granite footpaths, an inclusive playspace that was fully accessible, upgraded park furniture, a fence around the site and new signage.
A council public art project also involved 20 bluestone rocks having animals sculpted into them by stone sculptor Joe Pratt.
Mr Appleton said the project began 12 months ago with a community engagement session.
He also said there was a point of difference between Pennyweight Park and Lake Esmond, even though geographically they were quite close.
“Lake Esmond has a more natural play area over there while here is a bit more tailored.”
The council’s landscape architect Adam Parrott said there had also been extensive community tree plantings.
The Pennyweight Park opening follows the launch of Ballarat’s first inclusive playground, Livvi’s Play Space, in Victoria Park in March.
The playground, one of several around Australia, was built in memory of eight-month-old Olivia Perkins, whose family set up the Touched by Olivia foundation in her honour.
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