New playgrounds open ahead of school holidays

06 Jul 2018

It's reason enough to celebrate when one new playground is opened for the community, but today Newcastle City Council opened two new playgrounds in Carrington and Hamilton North, just in time for the school holidays.

The celebrations included a free BBQ and face painting at Grahame Park Carrington and a critter encounter with animals from Blackbutt Reserve at Smith Park Hamilton North.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes was on site to open the new playgrounds, each of which received $150,000 in funding from Council. She also officially launched the school holidays program, with a full range of workshops and activities from Saturday 7 July to Sunday 22 July 2018.

"It's always a pleasure for me to attend this kind of event to see the impact that Council's investments make across the community," said the Lord Mayor.

"These new playgrounds provide opportunities for kids and families to spend time outdoors together, having fun and engaging in activities that promote health and fitness.

"I watched kids having a blast today on the new playground equipment, which is a far cry from the sterile playground designs we saw in the early 2000s.

"The timber and steel used in these new designs creates playgrounds that blend well into the park surroundings, and unique play features inspire a sense of adventure in kids. Each park we design has something special just for that community, such as the "nest swing" in Smith Park, which accommodates several riders at once, and the play fort at Grahame Park."

Both playgrounds were designed following consultation with the local community to determine their needs and preferences.

At Smith Park, the upgrade includes two slides, climbing structures and the distinctive nest swing. A new picnic area has also been built to provide shade to families.

The play fort, double slides and a picnic shelter with an electric BBQ are among the features of the Grahame Park playground makeover.

In addition to these new playgrounds, work is expected to be completed in August on a $1.5million adventure playground at Blackbutt's Richley Reserve, including various play areas, shelters and new access paths.

Up to five of Newcastle's 119 playgrounds are included annually for upgrade funding through Council's asset renewal works program.

Playgrounds earmarked for an overhaul are selected and prioritised from a biennial independent audit that assesses their existing condition against current safety standards and guidelines.

A link to the full school holidays brochure is available on Council's website,