New playgrounds provide sense of community

16 Jan 2017

Mayfield lad Finn Davidson celebrated his fifth birthday late last year on his favourite piece of play equipment - the climbing wall in the new playground at Mayfield's Cowie Street Reserve.

Dozens of local families "have come out of the woodwork", says Finn's mum, since Newcastle City Council carried out a $70,000 makeover of the park's playground late last year.

The tired, old swing set and plastic slippery dip was replaced with a whole new playground complete with two slides, three-way swings and bird nest, a climbing frame and fireman's pole, plus three new wooden tables and chairs for parents and guardians.

"The new playground has brought a real sense of community and a real nice feel to the area," Nicole Davidson, mother of Finn, Isaiah, 7, and Angus, 11 months, said.

"There are a lot of new families in Mayfield buying the old houses and doing them up and I love the sound of kids in the playground. Families are coming over from Woodstock Street and also stopping in the park on the way home from Hunter Christian School."

Around 80 people congregated in the reserve's playground, which was previously rarely used, for a Christmas party.

"Council is working hard to deliver great places and neighbourhoods with improvements such as the new playgrounds finished late last year at Cowie Street Reserve and Willow Close Elermore Vale," Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

"There are around 120 playgrounds in our local government area and we upgrade around four or five a year as per the constraints of our financially sustainable budget.

"We'd love to be able to put in plastic slides and shade sails at each of them, but the cost of maintaining them and vandalism issues mean that that's not within council's financial means."

Newcastle City Council upgraded five playgrounds in 2016 and introduced static exercise equipment to Warabrook Reserve and Lambton Park, including chin-up, push-up and sit-up bars.

Completed in 2016:

  • Webb Park, Mayfield
  • Lyall Reserve, Shortland
  • Nesca Park, Cooks Hill
  • Cowie Street Reserve, Mayfield
  • Willlow Close Reserve, Elermore Vale

The following playgrounds are set for upgrades in 2017:

  • Campbell Park, Merewether
  • Tarro Reserve, Tarro
  • Centennial Park, Cooks Hill