Playground Upgrade - Stage 2
In 2011, Waverley Council received grant funding from the State Government for the stage 2 playground upgrade to Varna Park Playground. Comments and feedback from local residents and children have assisted Council to work out the plan of improvement for Varna Park, with works recently completed. The stage 2 playground upgrade compliments the existing playground facility and provides an attractive space for users of Varna Park. Local residents and users of the playground have responded positively to the works, and are excited about the bright new additions and new attractive play facilities to their local park.
Playground improvements include 2 new springers for toddlers, 1 new gyrospiral (spinning see-saw), informal seating, new shade trees, accent plantings and sandstone stepping stones. The new design successfully combines the existing facilities, play tower, swings, rock outcrops and picnic shelter creating an integrated, attractive and well defined playground facility.
Brightening up the Park
Vibrant colours were also added to Varna Park to enhance the look and feel of this neighbourly space. The picnic shelter received a splash of purple, white and brown paint to brighten it up and compliment the new playground equipment. The yellow boundary wall also was cleared of graffiti with a fresh coat of paint.
Community Safety in the Park
Varna Park has long been a gathering place for young people, with incidents of anti-social behaviour regularly reported to Council, including groups drinking and smashing bottles at night, and graffiti of the picnic shelter and retaining walls bordering the Park. Sadly in January 2010, vandals burned the play equipment to the ground.<</P>
Council conducted an assessment of the Park with the local police before designing a new play facility. We hope that the new playground, a defined ‘place’ with lots to explore and growing shade, will increase the number of family visitors and length of stay, making it less attractive as a gathering place for youth. Council has implemented a similar strategy in other parks, with positive results. We will continue to monitor activities in the Park to assess the effectiveness of the strategy, and work with Police and local residents to minimise anti-social behaviour.
If you’ve been reading through these web pages wondering how you and your community can get involved, you should take a look at the O’Donnell St park community project. More than 70 local residents in North Bondi have ‘adopted’ the small but much-loved O’Donnell St park in partnership with Council.
After learning from residents that the park is a social hub for locals, we installed a bin, bubbler, new seats and replaced an eroded surface with synthetic grass.
We also held a community planting day and over 30 volunteers turned out to plant trees and shrubs. They’ve since adopted them so they can become established and provide more shade.
Local residents also continue to pick up litter and report vandalism which sends a message to others that this is an important place for locals and that they care about it staying beautiful.
The park is now even more popular and this has been a real success story. One parent has even commented that her son loves the park so much that she has to physically collect him at dinner time or he won't come home!
Local residents approached Council with a request to celebrate the life and community contributions of long standing neighbour, Emily Morris.
The project involved the updgrading of an existing seat with a natural sandstone bench that was installed in the park recognising what an outstanding resident Emily was. The inscription on the bench demonstrates what Emily meant to the local residents: She loved Bondi and Bondi loved her. People passing by are now invited to sit and enjoy the peaceful little enclave in the middle of busy Bondi.
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