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Interview with Amy Cumming on City of Casey’s Playground Renewal Project

The City of Casey’s annual playground renewal project

As part of the City of Casey’s annual playground renewal program, adventure+ was engaged to design several unique playgrounds for multiple play spaces. adventure+ interviewed Amy Cumming from the council to find out more about the process and challenges in these projects. Read on to learn more!

Casey Council Playgrounds Interview - Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson Reserve

A+. Why did you choose to work with adventure+ on these projects and how was your experience?

AC. The City of Casey and adventure+ have worked together for many years now and have built a solid working relationship whereby projects are designed and constructed, with ease, on time and within budget. It is the consistent support from all of the team at adventure+, initially during the quotation phase, through negotiation and award of projects, to onsite construction and certificate of completion, issue of associated warranties and maintenance information.

Casey Council Playgrounds Interview - James Alexander
James Alexander Reserve

A+. What were the key outcomes you wanted out of these projects, and did you achieve them?

AC. Council set out to deliver a space that reflected the needs of the community. Council staff were confident that the designs provided by adventure+ would achieve this. Having met on site with members of the public using the new playgrounds, both children and carers, it became evident that the positive feedback demonstrated this.

A+. What is your favorite part of any or each of these playgrounds?

AC. All four playgrounds met the design brief and each is a unique playground designed to suit the existing landscape, while also meeting the needs of the community.

All of the designs cater for both junior and senior users and contain natural rocks to form part of the playground edging and offering nature-based play opportunities, along with accessible footpaths, seating and picnic tables amongst the mature landscape.

Norfolk Drive Reserve, Narre Warren – A timber adventure style playground nestled in amongst a natural tree canopy comprising of three play towers ranging in heights and containing multiple activities including; viewing platforms, large wave slide, double slide, monkey bar, cube climbing challenge, interactive lower deck activity panels, standard swings, accessible swing plus a stand-alone spinning basket swing. The design also incorporates a rocker.

Tara Court Reserve, Hallam – The playground has a single play tower suited to junior users with easy access to the curved slide, shop front panels and pommel climb activity. It also has a monkey bar and climbing/balancing activities attached. For the more senior users there is a rope climbing activity with a large wave slide. The site has 5 swings; a basket swing, standard infant and strap seat swings and a carer/child swing.

Casey Council Playgrounds Interview Tara Court
Tara Court Reserve

James Alexander Reserve, Endeavour Hills – A new playground situated on top of a hill comprising of a large play tower that contains multiple activities including; viewing platforms, large tube slide, smaller wave slide, monkey bars, track ride, interactive lower deck activity panels, standard swings and a basket swing. The design also incorporates a 4-seat rocker and spinner. The sheer size of the tower certainly enhances the view.

Bill Hudson Reserve, Berwick – A brightly coloured playground design comprising of two play towers with multiple slides, interconnecting rope climbing activities, track ride, standard swings and a stand-alone spinning basket swing, ‘Bill Hudson’ shop front and the many interactive lower deck activities are a stand out at this playground.

Casey Council Playgrounds Interview - Norfolk Reserve
Norfolk Drive Reserve

A+. What were some of the key challenges faced when designing these parks?

AC. To ensure the parks met the needs of Casey’s growing community, we sought feedback from our community throughout a consultation period where residents shared how they would like the space transformed. This was a challenging process, especially with COVID-19 related restrictions preventing in-person engagement.

However, the team still managed to collect valuable community feedback online via Council’s online engagement platform, Casey Conversations.

In addition feedback was recieved from children through our Casey kindergarten program’s ‘Draw Your Dream Playground’. Results from the engagement assisted the adventure+ design team with the submission and brief. Time constraints and budget were also a challenge, with the team utilising their creativity to ensure the design meet the brief and community expectations within these constraints.

The scope of works across all the original playgrounds included the removal and disposal of equipment. In alignment with adventure+, City of Casey sought to utilise the Rotary Club’s – Rotary Overseas Relocated Playgrounds (RORP) program whereby playgrounds are ‘harvested’, bundled into shipping containers and transported overseas for less fortunate communities to use. In months to come we will be sent images of the old playground made good again.

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