Four community members with a mix of skills and networks were on Tuesday appointed to the Botanic Park Playground project reference group as Council starts to implement its plan to spend at least $250,000 upgrading the facility.
Melanie Hotton, Council’s Community Services Manager said Council allocated $250,000 in its budget and will also apply for a further $250,000 in grants, as the current facilities are no longer fit-for-purpose and well overdue for renewal.
“We’re really excited to be working with the community over the next 12 months to develop fully-scoped designs for an amazing new playground, with completion by December 2021. The playground will deliver health and wellbeing benefits for residents and put Mansfield firmly on the family-friendly tourism map,” Ms Hotton said.
“The first step is to remove the treated pine play equipment, due to the safety risk. This will happen next week.
“The second step is to start working with the project reference group to seek community input and then appoint a design consultant to develop the design for a regionally significant playground, including a nature play area,” she said.
“We require the fully-scoped design to apply for funds under the Growing Victoria’s Botanic Gardens Grants Program at the end of June.”
Ms Hotton welcomed the appointment of Natalie Davies, Alisha Forrest, Paul Valente and Jacqui Hill.
“Natalie has strong connections throughout the community and with four children of her own, she has many points of reference.
“Alisha’s professional role as a paediatric occupational therapist working with children aged 0-12 years, primarily with developmental delays and disabilities, will also provide an important perspective.
“In addition to being an engineer, with a background in local government with project management experience and having contributed to the design of play spaces, Paul is keen to ensure any new space encourages parents, grandparents and carers to actively engage in play.
“Jacqui and her family, including three young children, are frequent users of the playground. As an employee of Mansfield District Hospital, she is positioned to gather viewpoints and opinions from a wide range of users of all ages.”
Ms Hotton said Council was extremely pleased to receive eight quality Expressions of Interest from community members.
“I’d like to thank all those who applied for putting their hand up to contribute to this project,” she said.
For more information: Melanie Hotton, Community Services Manager on 5775 8568