The new nature playground at Morphett Vale’s Wilfred Taylor Reserve is set to become the biggest in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.
Update 25 May 2020: The City of Onkaparinga is planning to hold a soft launch official opening towards the end of this year, dependent upon the state government coronavirus restrictions at the time.
The Wilfred Taylor Reserve Nature Playspace is starting to take shape. A number of construction milestones have been reached, which include the installation of the custom play equipment, interactive and educational play equipment, picnic settings, irrigation, pathways and artwork.
The junior nature play area is nearing completion with the dry creek bed, balance beams and new timber crossing already completed. Construction of the water play area is well underway with the sandpit play deck taking shape, concrete work complete and artwork installed. The sensory garden is complete.
Artworks from Aboriginal artist, Allan Sumner and planting will appear in the raised garden beds soon. Work will be continuing onsite over the next month including installation of the remaining play equipment such as the wheelchair accessible carousel, the plaza and more artwork. Shrubs and trees will also be planted.
Several areas adjacent the playspace have been completed ahead of schedule and are now open to the public including the new access road and car parking areas as well as the picnic area adjacent the Morphett Vale Railway. All works on site are scheduled for completion by the end of June 2020.
Once complete, the Wilfred Taylor Reserve Nature Playspace will support people of all ages to explore, roam and enjoy the natural environment, and children of all abilities to be outside, learning and engaging with nature.
The only other large playspace in the City of Onkaparinga is the much loved Jubilee Park in Port Noarlunga which incorporates the wonderful Wooden Fort playground.
The State Government committed $1.3M funds towards the project and the City of Onkaparinga has agreed to $900,000 for supporting infrastructure such as car parking, access roads, lighting and irrigated open space, making the playspace a $2.2M site.
The design approach for the nature play space is to move away from the traditional standalone playground and aims to incorporate the wider natural landscape as a key part of the experience. The objective is to create a number of nature play destinations that are strategically integrated into the existing landform. This is intended to encourage children to explore and roam; seeking challenges and acceptable risk-taking. It will also ease play congestion which is often experienced in popular urban play spaces. This spatial set out is more befitting the principals of nature play. Wilfred Taylor Reserve contains a number of established natural landscape elements that provide great play opportunities and these will be retained and enhanced in the concept design.
After extensive engagement, a draft concept design was developed which aims to encourage children to explore and roam within the natural area. Key features of the design include:
- All ability and inclusive play opportunities
- Junior and multi-sensory play
- Numerous play nodes offering a range of adventures
- Artwork and a range of bespoke play items
- Family picnic areas
- Design themes that have both cultural and European focus
- A mixture of nature and adventure play
- Interpretive signage
Wilfred Taylor Reserve is also home to the Morphett Vale miniature train rides which operate twice a month on the second and fourth Sundays.
What: Wilfred Taylor Reserve $1.3M Nature Playground to Be the Biggest in Adelaide’s South
When: Expected to open mid-2020
Where: Wilfred Taylor Reserve | Wheatsheaf Road, Morphett Vale
Who: Playground Fans
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Source: Artist impression images from the City of Onkaparinga website
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