Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park marked 10 years of connecting children to nature today at a 10th birthday celebration for Perth’s pioneering nature play space.
The first of its kind in Australia when it first opened in 2011, the Kings Park family destination has been a leader within the global ‘nature play’ movement and inspires schools and communities to build similar parks around the country.
Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park first opened as part of a $9 million funding partnership (over 12 years) between Rio Tinto and the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority and is expected to welcome its one millionth visitor in 2022.
At today’s anniversary event, Rio Tinto announced a further $1.6 million over the next three years to support Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park and the early learning program, Zippy’s Kings Park Adventures.
Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive Simon Trott said: “Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park has been a repeat destination for many WA families over the years, a place for kids and adults to explore and enjoy the great outdoors.
“Rio Tinto is proud to have supported this fantastic, ground-breaking facility for the past 10 years.
“We’re pleased to announce an additional $1.6 million to ensure this partnership will continue into the future and we look forward to welcoming the next generation of families to enjoy all the facility has to offer.”
Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority Executive Director Alan Barrett said the idea for Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park first originated from the need to encourage children to get outdoors and to get off electronic devices. Providing a facility that supported families to achieve that change was a significant motivator.
“Playing outside in nature is vital for children’s mental, physical and emotional development,” he said.
“By developing this nature play space we created an environment for children to explore the natural world while being challenged, learning and having fun.
“This experience at a young age will also help to create advocates for our environment in the future as the next custodians of our State’s biodiversity.”
On Saturday 27 November the community is invited to a free 10th Birthday Community Celebration from 9am-12pm to celebrate the important milestone.
Jointly presented by Rio Tinto and Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, the event at the play space includes free children’s environment and biodiversity-based activities and entertainment, Aboriginal storytelling and didgeridoo.
Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is free for visitors and open 9am to 4pm Tuesday – Sundays. Opening days vary in school holidays – for up-to-date information visit bgpa.wa.gov.au