Luke Garswood, who has a young daughter and son, said the idea had been germinating in his mind for a couple of years and it attracted interest and support from other locals when he used it as a platform for a shot at a seat on the Town of Victoria Park at the October local government elections.
Despite failing in a bid for a council spot, his proposal had positive feedback and he has now established People for Parks, a small community group that will hold a family picnic to help locals learn about what a nature-based playground is.
Mr Garswood, who established the thriving Victoria Park community garden about five years ago, recruited Carlisle company Nature Play Solutions owners Lee and Derek Baston to demonstrate and guide participants to make bush cubbies at the free picnic.
‘I’m trying to keep the momentum for the idea going,’ the Department of Health aged and community care officer said.
‘I’m a complete novice but want to give children the chance to access the natural environment because they enjoy it so much.
‘The Victoria Park foreshore is quite neglected and if we don’t get something happening before we amalgamate with South Perth it won’t happen at all.’
Victoria Park Mayor Trevor Vaughan said a nature-based play area was part of the GO Edwards Park Concept Plan and the project was in the Town’s Strategic Community Plan to start and progress over the next four years.
‘Cost estimates for the complete GO Edwards Park Concept Plan are about $2 million. The Town has $100,000 in its budget to progress the detailed design, costing and staging plan.’
Cr Vaughan said council was reviewing the 2001 McCallum Park Master Plan and the Town had fielded various expressions of interest regarding ideas for activating McCallum Park.
WHAT: People for Parks nature play picnic
WHERE: McCallum Park near the Causeway
WHEN: 10am Sunday, December 1