Back in the swing of things

Lachlan at Galaxyland. (Mark Wilson)

By Oliver Lees

Playgrounds have long been a place for children to get outdoors and have some fun, but last year highlighted even more their importance as a community hub. While much of the state was locked down by coronavirus restrictions, local playgrounds were vital for children and their parents to interact, explore and recharge.

From Gisborne Adventure Playground, to Romsey Ecotherapy Park, the Macedon Ranges is filled with bucolic park spaces for the whole family to enjoy.

As the town greets its autumnal foliage across 63 different playgrounds, there’s no better time to get out and about and enjoy the surroundings.

Macedon Ranges council assets and operations director Shane Walden says parks and playgrounds provide the community with important, cost-effective spaces that support mental and physical wellbeing.

“Playgrounds in the Macedon Ranges provide spaces for kids to explore and grow,” he said.

“We recognise the vital role public open spaces like playgrounds have in fostering healthy and active communities. Council continues to develop parklands through plantings, irrigation and improved infrastructure.

“Since COVID-19 restrictions have eased, playgrounds and parks offer a low to no cost place for families to reconnect, socialise and play.”

For every $100 council spends on delivering services, $12 goes toward funding parks, environment and open spaces.

This work includes park and garden maintenance, weed control of public land, tree planting and community education.

Over in Hume, Sunbury’s Galaxyland playground is perhaps one of the municipality’s most visited play spaces.

There are over 300 playgrounds across Hume which are maintained by the council.

According to the council, the municipality’s most high profile playgrounds – Sunbury’s Galaxyland, Craigieburn’s Golden Sun Moth Park, and Broadmeadow’s Jack Roper Reserves and Johnston Street parks – are inspected and audited for safety weekly.

Neighbourhood parks are inspected every 12 weeks by the council’s playspace maintenance team.