Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s Safari Park children’s playground has won the Kidsafe 2010 National Playspace Design Awards for public playspaces in regional parks.
The awards were announced to coincide with National Kidsafe Day and recognise excellence and innovation in the provision of safe, creative playspaces across Australia, showcasing current playspace design and aiming to promote inspirational, innovative play facilities and encourage healthy participation in recreational activities for children.
The Zoo’s Safari Park playground designed by Spackman Mossop Michaels landscape architects, with Taronga Western Plains Zoo and artist Tim Johnman, topped a competitive field of playspaces to take top honours in the Regional Parks category.
“All involved in the project are very excited about receiving this award which reaffirms how wonderful this play area is for families visiting the Zoo,” said Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s General Manager, Matthew Fuller.
“Since opening in September 2009 the playground has proven to be extremely popular. It is a common sight to see children playing on the area every day.”
The ‘African Waterhole’ themed playground features a variety of climbing structures, ‘Masai shield’ mound, balancing beams, a timber ‘Pygmy’ hut and ‘Boma’ sand pit, rope bridges, percussion instruments as well as a safari jeep and a number of animal sculptures.
“The Safari Park is a place where children can explore and learn about African animals in a fun and hands on environment, it’s a place where their imaginations can run wild,” said Matthew.
“The most exciting aspect to this announcement is that this award winning playground will soon be part of the new free access area of the Zoo which opens in mid November.
“This playground area will be a free new recreational space for Dubbo, and it is reassuring to parents that their children can play safely in this great space,” said Matthew.
The Safari Park playground was supported by Zoo Friends contributing $400, 000 to the design and construction of the playground.