Baldivis schools to get nearer to nature with Labor playground funding pledge


Overlooking the site of the Bertram Nature Playground are Bertram P& C secretary Jodie Papiccio, president Jo Greasley, students Daniel Papiccio, Cameron Papiccio, Tahlia and Jack Greasley and Labor candidate Reece Whitby.
Overlooking the site of the Bertram Nature Playground are Bertram P& C secretary Jodie Papiccio, president Jo Greasley, students Daniel Papiccio, Cameron Papiccio, Tahlia and Jack Greasley and Labor candidate Reece Whitby.

THREE local primary schools are set to get more in tune with nature should Baldivis Labor candidate Reece Whitby be elected.

Nature play is unstructured outdoor play in a natural environment.

Mr Whitby said nature playgrounds were proving beneficial to children’s development and learning.

“WA Labor has committed to providing a total of $150,000 for nature playgrounds in the Baldivis electorate,” he said.

“As a dad with four kids, I’ve seen how good nature play is. In a way, it’s going back to the old days when we used to play in the bush as kids and spend hours building cubbies and using our imagination.

“Nature play is recognised by teachers for stimulating creativity and experimentation. It also helps children get the exercise they need so they can settle down when class resumes.

He said Makybe Rise Primary and Tranby College P&Cs would each receive $50,000.

Bertram Primary School would get $50,000 for stage one of a large nature playground built around a natural wetland.

Mr Whitby said he had conducted extensive consultations with all local school P&Cs to determine what each school needed.

“The nature plays at Makybe Rise and Bertram primary schools are very important because these schools have among the largest student populations in Western Australia and they desperately need more play areas,” he said.

“These schools have large numbers of demountable classrooms which encroach on play space.

“Tranby has very limited play facilities at the junior school and parents have been wanting a nature playground for many years.”

He added further announcements would be made soon about other forms of assistance for other schools.