Saturday, June 15, 2024

Christchurch kids to run wild in new play space

Kids will be able to run ‘wild’ in a new natural play area planned for Rawhiti Domain.

Featuring a fort, embankment slide, swing set, net nests and woodland gardens, the design of the natural ‘playscape’ aims to boost physical and mental well-being in a space where children can freely interact with the local environment.

Eastern Community Sport and Recreation will manage the construction of the play area, with the nature space to open later this year. The community group – alongside the Guardians of Rāwhiti – has received a $580,000 ‘shovel-ready’ grant from the Government to develop the 1.7-hectare natural woodland play area, which will also attract monarch butterflies and native birds.

Waitai/Coastal-Burwood Community Board Chairperson, Kelly Barber says that nature play “promotes imagination, exploration and physical activity while also supporting mental well-being”.

“Rawhiti Domain – a popular community park – offers the perfect place to develop a natural play area, with nearby sand dunes and plenty of trees and plants,” he says.

“The play area includes an accessible fort at the high point, a wooden conical-shaped village, a central tree platform, a pile of logs for climbing, and a nature garden full of plants that attract butterflies. It really will have something for every child.

“A dirt discovery track, special slide and fantastic timber merry-go-round – along with the net nest and basket swing – will add to the natural experience as children explore and learn through play.”

The accessible play area also provides for children (or adults) with limited or reduced mobility.

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