8 April 2021

Designed by local children, Bermagui's all-inclusive playground opens

| Albert McKnight
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Children, teachers and council staff at opening of Bermagui playground

Children from Bermagui Preschool and Narooma High School, along with teachers, council staff and guests celebrate the opening of the new all-inclusive playground in Bermagui. Photos: Supplied.

The recent opening of an all-inclusive playground in Bermagui was met with squeals of joy from local children, and has been described as a boon for the NSW South Coast town.

The facility also reflects exactly what children think makes a playground fun, as kids from the town’s preschool had a direct hand in its design.

“I can’t stress enough what a beautiful model it was for community collaboration,” said Bermagui Preschool director Narelle Myers.

“The fact council listened to the voices of the children and acted on their ideas was so brilliant and so powerful as well.”

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Ms Myers said Bega Valley Shire Council asked the children to choose their favourite pieces of playground equipment, with a flying fox being a very popular choice.

She said council “nailed it”, installing all the inclusive equipment the children asked for along with natural elements because the kids wanted to be able to find critters such as beetles and butterflies.

Ms Myers said “you could not wipe the smiles off the children’s faces” when they visited the new playground in Apex Park, located at the junction of Lamont Street and Tuross Street.

Preschool staff and children at new playground in Bermagui

Bermagui Preschool staff and children enjoy the opening of the new playground. Photos: Supplied.

“There were squeals of delight they were so happy,” she said.

Ms Myers believes not only has the playground created a beautiful new space for the community, it will also attract people to the town and provide a boost for the local economy.

“If you’ve been there since the school holidays, you’d see it’s just packed – you can’t even get a car parking space,” she said.

Member for Bega Andrew Constance also welcomed the playground, which was funded with $380,000 from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund along with a contribution from Bega Valley Shire Council.

“This playground will provide our local and visiting children and families with a functional, safe and imaginative play space,” he said.

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Council’s recreation and natural assets coordinator John Turville said Apex Park was selected as the preferred site for the playground after an extensive community consultation process.

“This inclusive playground has been designed to the NSW Government’s ‘Everyone Can Play’ guidelines, which means all paths and park furniture are accessible to all, as well as the inclusion of two accessible carparking bays,” he said.

“It features play items that will enable all children to play together in an environment focused on inclusiveness.

“Play items include a dual cableway with inclusive seat, an inclusive carousel, trampoline, rope tower with slide, dual bay swings with basket swing, and nature-based play items such as a hollow log, balance logs and log steppers.”

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