It is well known that play is extremely valuable in the physical and social development of children. Providing a variety of elements to challenge children physically and to promote social interaction can occur both within and beyond the playspace. Integrating a playspace into a wider park will be exciting for children. It will also provide both children and carers with increased opportunities to explore and be active.
Design of a playspace should consider the existing environment and make best use of the existing landscape attributes, like looking beyond the playspace and linking with wider landscape opportunities in a park. Melaleuca Village Lake is an example of how to create a playspace integrating with the wider pathway network of Jordan Springs and into the bushland landscape of Wianamatta Regional Park.
This story by Lendlease outlines how simple decisions made in the design phase will ensure children, adults and carers can enjoy a playspace that is part of a wider parkland setting.
Melaleuca Village Lake: Inclusive Playspace Jordan Springs, NSW
Melaleuca Village Lake and Playspace, located at Jordan Springs adjacent to the Wianamatta Regional Park, was officially opened by local indigenous leaders in partnership with the Penrith City Council and Lendlease as part of National Reconciliation Week on 4 June 2017.
A Smoking Ceremony, storytelling, dance performance, Indigenous food tasting, and native animal display were held to help acknowledge the Traditional Owners’ connection to land, water and community.
Celebrating National Reconciliation Week is central to Lendlease’s Reconciliation Action Plan and is focused on strengthening and maintaining relationships between Lendlease’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other employees and building relationships with local communities.
The 6.5-hectare parkland features a 2.8-hectare lake, walking and cycling trail, shaded ‘nature-based’ playspace, picnic facilities and lawn areas. The parkland is located at a gateway between the Jordan Springs and Jordan Springs East communities, connected by road through the Wianamatta Regional Parklands. Pedestrian and cycling paths have been delivered throughout the new communities to support an active and walking lifestyle and to connect a wide variety of community gathering spaces.
Early in the development phase it was realised that having mature spotted gum trees would provide shade and a setting for a natural play environment combined with trampolines, swings, water play, two tree houses with climbing nets, viewing decks, and a slide for children of all abilities. Children play equally amongst the grove of trees and purpose built climbing frames.
Additional shade trees have been planted around the lake and playspace, with many of the species reflecting those of the Cumberland Plain Woodland and found within the adjoining Wianamatta Regional Park. The native vegetation creates an instant visual appeal and habitat for birds and animals.
Melaleuca Village Lake, Jordan Springs’s second lake, also plays an important sustainability role in the community by helping to manage stormwater and protecting natural waterways in Wianamatta Regional Park. The lake has been designed to capture water run-off and to control flow during storms. Plants in the lake beds are an integral part of a water treatment system that removes sediment and nutrients from the stormwater run-off.
Key Partners: Penrith City Council
Landscape Architect: Cloustons
Playspace Designer: Ric Mcconaghy
Civil Engineers: JWPrince
Landscape Contractors: Glascott