News & Events

Upgraded park will combine digital fun and physical play

Tuesday July 30 2019

Milverton Park’s play space is reopening this weekend – and is smarter than ever.

Photo shows aerial view of the new play area in Milverton Park with the city in the background.

One of the new playgrounds under construction.

A BBQ, music and food trucks will be on-site from 11am to 2pm on Saturday [3 August] to welcome people back to the new play area.

The 26-year-old playground was removed in May and upgraded to provide a safe and more enjoyable experience for Palmy residents and visitors.

Encouraging a new type of play

Logs and rocks line the area which has two playgrounds – one for toddlers and another for school-aged children. A fort lets children feel as though they are in the canopy of the trees. The mouse wheel that has been on show in the Square will also be at its new home. A half-court with an adjustable hoop will be ready to use in about a month.

The play area has been designed in natural colours, so it blends in with the environment.

Palmerston North City Council Parks and Reserves Manager Kathy Dever-Tod says the new play space is about encouraging a new type of play.

“While Milverton Park does have playground structures, the whole park is for playing. We want children – and their parents – to see that a tree can be climbed, rocks jumped on and seats and other furniture can be balanced upon. Milverton Park is a great sensory experience, with several textures and materials that will appeal to children of all ages.”

Download game-based smartphone app for adventures in the park

Parents will be able download the Biba app and it will provide an adventure for parents and children to do around the park together.

Ms Dever-Tod says Council wants to see more people actively playing with their children rather than sitting on the sidelines. So we’re trialling a game that can be used on smartphones.

“The provider gives some useful data to the Council including peak days and times, and attendance. This kind of information can help us decide what kind of equipment should be going into parks, based on the experience of users.”

Council will decide whether to continue using the software, including whether to try it at other locations, after the year-long trial.

Read more about the app and what data is collected on the Playground Centre website.

Environmentally friendly design embodies Palmy's eco-city values

We’re committed to being an environmentally friendly city and have factored that into the design at Milverton Park. Recycled shoes and truck tyres are now the base of the safety surfaces, and the picnic tables are made of tens of thousands of soft plastic bags.

Honouring the park’s history

As part of the upgrade, the park sign has been updated to recognise the history of the site. The park was gifted to the Council in 1925 by William Milverton, whose only condition was that the land remain free for the public to use for recreation and amusement.