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New playgrounds ready for restless kids

Photograph: A wooden prate ship is the feature piece in the new playground at Tathra's Lions Park. It replaces the ship that was destroyed by floodwaters during the 2016 East Coast Low event at Ray Whyman Reserve on the north of the Bega River.12 May 2020

With the COVID-19 ‘curve’ continuing to flatten and restrictions beginning to ease as a result, the youngest in our community will soon be able to explore four exciting new playground spaces.

While most of us have been in enforced hibernation, Council’s Leisure and Recreation team and local contractors GDB Excavation and Landscaping and Bega Bobcats have been getting on with the village playgrounds project that takes in Cobargo’s Apex Park, Lions Park at Mogareeka, Bicentennial Park in Bemboka and the Wyndham Memorial Park.

Funded under the NSW State Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund to the tune of $300,705 and contributions from Council, the renewals will provide our local children with functional, safe and imaginative play spaces and areas for families and community groups to gather in a social setting.

Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, said that he was pleased to see the delivery of these playgrounds across the region.

“Now more than ever our kids want to access the outdoors and great play facilities, after what has been a very difficult time for them,” Mr Constance said.

“Kids need outside activities for play and social reasons, but so to do parents and the completion of these playgrounds will be the start of bringing communities back together in a fun social atmosphere.

“With restrictions around COVID-19 starting to lift, I would ask parents to still be mindful of their children and others when they do head back to the local playground.

“Please don’t take your kids out if they are unwell, and if possible, sanitise or wash their hands before and after play for the benefit of all,” Mr Constance said.

Due to the challenges posed by the summer’s bushfires, the construction program needed to be staggered, with Cobargo and Mogareeka now completed, while Bemboka is well underway, and Wyndham is set to commence in the next few days.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Leisure and Recreation Projects Officer, Glenn Merrick, said the work that has and continues to be produced by the local contractors was first class and the spaces were looking great.

“The extremely valuable community contributions made in the planning process mean that each playground has unique components, with accessibility improvements a real feature across all the sites,” Mr Merrick said.

“At Mogareeka this has taken the form of accessible parking and pathways linking the carpark, playground toilets and barbeque areas, while in Cobargo the project provides accessible pathways linking the new picnic shelter and accessible table to the playground with the inclusion of new bench seating and a wheelchair accessible drinking fountain. Both parks have an accessible nest swing with rubber softfall base to provide access for all abilities.

“Also of note at Mogareeka is the inclusion of a large wooden ship feature piece to replace the ship that was destroyed by floodwaters during the 2016 East Coast Low event at Ray Whyman Reserve on the north of the Bega River.

“The playground at Cobargo has been constructed in traditional colours to represent the heritage values of the town and features a rainbow coloured slide and 25m flying fox, while the original old rocking horse has been repaired by Council’s Works staff and retained.

“Unfortunately, some of the garden planting works set to be undertaken by volunteers at Cobargo has been delayed after the plants were destroyed in the bushfires, however planting around the park will be an ongoing project for a small group of locals in conjunction with council staff,” Mr Merrick said.

For more information on the village playgrounds project visit www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/major-projects

Photograph: A wooden prate ship is the feature piece in the new playground at Tathra’s Lions Park. It replaces the ship that was destroyed by floodwaters during the 2016 East Coast Low event at Ray Whyman Reserve on the north of the Bega River.

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