New playground comes to fruition

SHARE

Construction of new junior and senior playgrounds at the Big Fruit Reserve in Cromwell can now start, thanks to a $125,000 grant from the Central Lakes Trust.

Central Otago District Council parks and recreation manager Gordon Bailey said completion of the project had been contingent on getting third-party funding.

The council would be putting in “roughly an equal amount and that should be enough to get us through to completion of the project”.

The total budget was about $255,000, he said.

Feedback from the local community had informed the final design of the two playgrounds, a significant number of people participating in online surveys and public meetings, Mr Bailey said.

“We’ve used that information to pick the best things that people wanted.”

The junior playground area would include some “play with water and a little ditch digger”, while the senior area would include climbing frames, a monkey pole and a carousel, he said.

“Those traditional things also came through, which was great – people seem to like those things still.”

Fencing and additional lighting beyond what was existing weren’t included at this stage, although fencing around the junior area might be looked at, Mr Bailey said.

It was hoped construction would be completed before Christmas, but that depended on items ordered from overseas arriving in time.

Mr Bailey thanked the Central Lakes Trust for the grant.

“It is their contribution that is making it a reality.”

Central Lakes Trust chief executive Susan Finlay said a substantial part of the trust’s funding for this round went to the playground.

“As we move to higher-density housing, the average section size has decreased, limiting the backyard space [and] making communal play areas all the more important.”