Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Mandeville community welcomes long-awaited playground

The Gore district’s Mandeville community recently celebrated the opening of a community playground.

Until the opening of the park, Mandeville had been the only area in the Gore district without a playground.

Gore District Council Parks and Recreation Manager, Keith McRobie said discussions about a potential playground had begun in early 2022 when Council and community representatives met to consider a playground and decide on a location.

“The Council owns land adjacent to the Mandeville Hall but it was decided that this wasn’t the best option for a playground,” Mr McRobie said.

“A preferable option was the land beside Miss Cocoa, which has become something of a central hub for the community beside the highway and the popular Mandeville Aerodrome.”

The Council had available funds in their rural activity account and agreed to provide the playground equipment, with the community agreeing to arrange for its installation and for the provision of ‘soft fall’, an impact-absorbing layer that is typically laid around play equipment to help protect children should they fall while playing, he said.

“The process was more complicated than initially envisaged, with the site being zoned for industrial use, meaning resource consent for a playground was required.”

However, the Mandeville community demonstrated remarkable perseverance and dedication through their fundraising efforts to cover the costs of installation, soft fall, and timber surrounds, he said.

The Council says Miss Cocoa owner, Lynley Hogg and resident, Aaron Horrell, were instrumental to the project. However, Mr Hogg sadly passed away before seeing the playground come to fruition.

Mr Horrell and others in the community have proposed that the new playground be named the Lynley Hogg Memorial Playground in her memory, Mr McRobie said.

“Her commitment and resilience, along with that of the Mandeville community, have been instrumental in bringing this vital community asset to fruition.”

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