The fences are down and the brand new playground at Gaggin Park at Suffolk Park is ready to be climbed on, played on and explored by children of all ages.
Byron Shire Council has invested $130,000 in rebuilding the playground which has been designed with input from local families and the Suffolk Park Progress Association.
The new playground is based on a fire station theme, a link to the nearby Suffolk Park Rural Fire Service headquarters which has served the local community well for many years.
It is designed to cater for, and stimulate, very young children up to 12-years-old and features include a mini-fire truck, a fireman’s pole, a climbing tower and a stepping ball which combine with a nature walk and landscaping made from rocks and recycled timber.
“This new playground is a shining example of what can be achieved when a local community works alongside Council,” Simon Richardson, Byron Shire Mayor, said.
“This park is much loved by families and their input, along with feedback from the Suffolk Park Progress Association, was integral to the design, taking into account local heritage and environmental considerations and using recycled and natural material where possible,” Mayor Richardson said.
“We used the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play guideline which is a toolkit for creating inclusive play spaces and the result is that we have a park that meets community expectations and needs and that’s a terrific outcome.
“I think it is also special that the timber reclaimed from old bridges we replaced near Bangalow last year has been incorporated into the new playground making it a mix of old and new.
“At the last Census 14.3 percent of the population in Suffolk Park was under 14 years of age and there is a high demand for play facilities in the area so Gaggin Park will continue to be used by locals.
“Almost 100 years ago George Suffolk donated land for community use and this new playground means children and their families will be using the area for generations to come,” Mayor Richardson said.
Gaggin Park was named in the 1960s after Ailsa and Ron Gaggin who lobbied strongly for improved facilities in Suffolk Park. It is the third major playground upgrade undertaken by Council in the Byron Shire in the last twelve months with the Bangalow Parklands and Waterlily Park at Ocean Shores also opened this year.