As the fence around the brand new Frimley Playground is about to come down a bunch of playground experts have checked it out from top to bottom – with one giving it a score of “10 out of 10”.
Admittedly they are a bit older than the normal age group seen clambering up a rope climbing frame – but they have the credentials.
Members of the New Zealand Recreation Association (Midlands Region Committee) were in town a couple of weeks ago (May 27) to take a look at facilities across Hastings and Napier.
The organisation “champions high quality recreation . . . that meets the needs of current and future participants, so that through recreation, New Zealanders are active, healthy, and connected”.
The visitors, playground and park managers and planners from as far away as New Plymouth, were bussed around a number of recreation facilities and sights during their day in the Bay, including Waitangi Regional Park, Napier’s new sea wall murals, the Romanes Park BMX track in Havelock North, and the brand new Frimley Park playground.
The Frimley Playground has been built by Hastings District Council with children with disabilities top of mind.
All the usual park elements are still there, swings, slides and rope climbs, but there are also bright-colours defining different areas, designed to help those with poor vision or with learning disabilities, things like Congo drums and talk tubes, a wheelchair-friendly roundabout, artificial turf across the play area suitable for all mobility’s, and a circular path for scootering.
The park was given a “10 out of 10” by South Taranaki District Council property and facilities manager John Sargeant.
As well as the innovative play gear “especially the wheelchair roundabout; but the main point of difference, that I think is very clever, is the brightly coloured astro turf paths and the way it is integrated with the other surfaces. As well as being soft on the feet and the colours really do invite children into the playground.”
The playground will be opened on June 19 at 10.00am, with a family celebration including a sausage sizzle, face painting and a bouncy castle, and access to the brand new play equipment.
Also in the planning but unlikely to be ready by the opening, is a petanque terrain, donated by Russell Roads. It will be the first public petanque court in Hastings. People wanting to use it will need to take along their petanque boules.
4 October 2017
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