11 September 2019

40 metre flying fox coming to Cobargo!

| Elka Wood
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Cobargo parents were 'underwhelmed' by the original Apex park upgrades presented and have been working with Bega Valley Shire Council on a new design, which will move the original slide [pictured]. Picture: Elka Wood

Cobargo parents were ‘underwhelmed’ by the original Apex park upgrades presented and have been working with Bega Valley Shire Council on a new design, which will move the original slide [pictured]. Picture: Elka Wood

An injection of funding to upgrade small-town parks around the Bega Valley has been met with vigorous community involvement, especially by a group of parents in Cobargo, who have been working with Council on ways to up the ‘wow’ factor of their local park.

Apex Park in Cobargo, Memorial Park in Wyndham, Bicentennial Park in Bemboka and Lions Park in Mogareeka are all in line for a makeover, however, Cobargo has hit the ground running.

Jasmine Bowie-Ventura, of Cobargo, felt that the three original proposed designs were too concrete-heavy and did not compliment the park’s location beside Cobargo Creek and high visibility from the highway.

“I love Cobargo, it’s one of my favourite parks,” says Jasmine, a mother of four “and that’s mostly because of the setting beside the creek, even though you can’t see it, the whole area is so shady and leafy. Although the park is right beside the highway, it’s a really pleasant location.”

The current playground equipment at Apex Park in Cobargo will be replaced with a new climbing gym as well as a few unique community-funded features. Picture: Elka Wood

Wanting to make the most of the environment, Council’s $80,000 budget, and have the park reflect ‘nature-based learning concepts,’ as well as be accessible to all abilities, Jasmine mobilised her parent group and put together a new plan which will compliment the Council project.

“The council’s original plans included a lot of concrete, which is the easiest way to make a park wheelchair accessible,” Jasmine says “but nobody wanted more concrete so our new plans include some timber decking instead, as well as a dry creek bed water feature with a hand-operated pump and a community -installed musical instrument.”

The group will fund and install these extras, which will be coordinated with the assistance of Council once the initial upgrade works are compete. Council is pushing ahead with plans to purchase new play equipment and install it in the second half of this year.

Making the most of the budget has meant re-using, not replacing, some equipment.

Cobargo’s Apex Park. More secure fencing is included in the new plan to keep children away from the adjoining highway. Picture: Elka Wood.

Although the council’s original plans included installing a standard 25-metre flying fox at Cobargo, the community group pushed for a 35 to 40-metre structure will take up the whole length of the park and require moving the current slide.

Jasmine hopes it will be visible enough from the highway to encourage visitors to stop – and provide that ‘wow’ factor.

“We’re really trying to get the most from the budget,” Jasmine explains “and there’s not much difference in cost between a 25 and 40 metre flying fox so it was a great way to maximise the funding.”

A model of the 35 to 40-metre flying fox to be installed at Cobargo’s Apex Park. Image: Bega Valley Shire Council.

Jasmine is confident that the new plans are “one hundred per cent better than the three original designs offered,” and would like to thank Bega Valley Shire Council for their perseverance in meeting the communities desires.

“It’s a real credit to the council how many on-site visits they had and how hard they have worked with us on the new plan,” Jasmine says.

Work on the Apex Park in Cobargo is due to begin in August this year.

The community park group are seeking rocks and boulders for the dry creek bed, input on the musical instrument and registered tradespeople to donate labour for some parts of the project. Please contact Vicky at [email protected] with any questions.

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How wonderful it can be when a community own a project for themselves! Thank you BVSC for going with the flow of the local feeling and input. Another example of people doing it for themselves.

Lisa Harrington6:41 am 26 Mar 19

Cobargo park needs a fence around it being so close to the rd

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