Maintaining and upgrading our playgrounds is a way of encouraging unstructured play, to create an exciting and liveable city for our rangatahi says Council Leisure Assets Officer Glen Finlayson.
Mr Finlayson is often channeling his inner child on many of his projects, asking himself the tough questions: space shuttle spinner or skateboard rocker? Climbing net or rock wall?
As a result, Peren Park now boasts an adventure playground featuring a rock wall, cliff hanger, sky hanger and more. In addition to this, a new half sized basketball court at Peren Park has seen a lot of use, with the adjustable airtime hoop making it perfect for dunks.
“Palmerston North Boys High School has 46 basketball teams alone, which says a lot about the popularity of the sport,” says Mr Finlayson.
“The new half court encourages kids to get outside, be active and exercise without even noticing it. It’s been incredibly popular. I actually saw a couple of tradesman on their break having a game, and an elderly lady on the new swings.”
Kaimanawa Reserve, Papaioea Park and Apollo Park are also home to new playgrounds geared towards the younger ones.
“We went out and asked the community what they wanted at Apollo Park. Feedback suggested there was not enough gear for younger kids. We’ve now installed exciting new play equipment like a space shuttle spinner.
“Our playgrounds get a lot of use city wide, and we’re happy to see these upgrades being received so well,” Mr Finlayson says.
Double flying fox on the way for Linklater
Young adrenaline seekers will be pleased with the double flying fox on its way at Linklater Reserve, with the Kelvin Grove Community Association kindly fronting $12,500 towards the build.
“The donation by the Kelvin Grove Community Association was swift and generous. This flying fox will provide endless hours of excitement and entertainment for generations to come,” says Council Senior Property & Parks Planner, Aaron Phillips.
The Association’s generous donation has enabled Council to install a double rather than a single flying fox and at 80m long it will be one of the longest ‘free to use’ flying foxes in the country.
“Previously they helped out with the Swing Bridge alongside the Fitzherbert Lions, so it was wonderful to hear they wanted to help with the flying fox too,” say Mr Phillips.
“We’re incredibly appreciative for the effort and resources they’ve contributed. We’re hoping for the flying fox to be up and running in May. Stay tuned!”