The Hills District All Abilities Playground in Arana Hills in Moreton Bay Region has been officially recognised as one of the best places to play by Parks and Leisure Australia.
Leslie Patrick Park’s one-of-a-kind playground was recently awarded Queensland’s best playspace over $500,000 at the state Awards of Excellence and will now be in the running for the national awards next month.
Mayor Peter Flannery said the All Abilities Playground has made a big difference to locals living with a disability and is a major drawcard for Moreton Bay.
“Since the playground’s opening last December, we’ve received an amazing response from the community so to be recognised as best-practice across the state is the cherry on top,” he said.
“No detail was overlooked in this purpose-built park so this award is a credit to the dedication of our Council staff in understanding the communities’ needs and delivering an exceptional public space for both locals and visitors.
“This recognition proves Moreton Bay is well on our way to becoming the most accessible destination in South-East Queensland, from beach matting at Bribie Island to wide boardwalks and pathways like the Caboolture-Wamuran rail trail path — to say I’m proud of our achievements is an understatement.
“We thank the Hon Peter Dutton MP (Federal member for Dickson) who provided a $200,000 commitment to the project, as well as the Golden Valley Keperra Lions Club who, together with an Australian Lions Foundation grant, contributed $30,000 to make this project possible.”
Parks and Leisure Australia Queensland (PLAQ) Executive Officer Adam Cheyne said he was excited to announce the All Abilities playground as this year’s Queensland Awards of Excellence winner.
“This industry-leading project provides a new benchmark for local governments and developers across Queensland looking to innovate and enhance inclusive and accessible play spaces,” he said.
“The playground exhibits landscape and design innovation that not only delights but importantly aids childhood development for all abilities.
“Council and their partners should be incredibly proud of this recognition and I wish Council all the best at the 2020 National Awards of Excellence.”
Councillor Matt Constance (Div 10) said he was thrilled to see the All Abilities Playground recognised, having seen the park became a major attraction in the local community.
“This space is more than just a playground, it’s a place to unite our community and create healthier and happier neighbourhoods where people of all ages and abilities can gather and play,” he said.
“This playground is a complete reimagining of what can be delivered as a play space for children of all physical and intellectual abilities; catering for those with autism, sensory processing disorders, visual impairment, down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy and many more.
“This is the first of its kind in South East Queensland, incorporating 16 different types of inclusive equipment across five zones including accessible swings and slides, to the picnic zone and even a sensory garden.
“We thank Parks and Leisure Australia for this award and will be keeping our fingers crossed for back-to-back wins at the national awards in October.”
Parks and Leisure host the Awards of Excellence each year to recognise and celebrate the outstanding initiatives and innovative efforts of 'the people behind the places' which promote good use of leisure time for a number of social, environmental and economic benefits to the community.