Why is Council developing this Strategy?

    Council is developing a Parks and Play Strategy so that we can make informed decisions on the planning, provision and management of parks, playgrounds and public amenities to meet the needs of the community now and in the future.

    What is the focus of this study?

    The focus of this study is Council managed parks, playgrounds and public amenities that are publicly accessible. These include large parks like Speers Point Park and smaller parks like Russell Reserve, Adamstown Heights and Pendlebury Park, Bonnells Bay.

    What will the Strategy provide?

    The Parks and Play Strategy will provide a long-term vision and framework for the planning, provision and management of Lake Mac’s park, playground and public amenity network. The community’s input will be combined with the detailed research, site assessments, demand projections and issues analysis.  This will then guide the development of the strategy and an implementation plan that balances current and projected resources with the priorities emerging from the strategy.

    What is not included as part of this Strategy?

    Skate parks, BMX tracks, outdoor fitness equipment and dog off-leash areas are not included as part of this Strategy. 

    Benefits of parks

    Parks and public open space support the health and wellbeing of our residents.  Parks and open spaces are places where our residents and visitors to the city can relax, enjoy nature, be physically active and play.  They provide locations for people to gather and socialise, helping people to make connections with one another and have a sense of belonging in our growing community.  They provide opportunities to escape the built environment, and improved amenity provides habitat for wildlife and improve air quality.

    Our parks and playspaces benefit our community:

    1. Physically and mentally by promoting physical activity and active lifestyles, reducing illness and disease, improving mental health and creating a sense of wellbeing.
    2. Socially by generating stronger and more connected communities with improved social interaction and inclusion through provision of active and vibrant community hubs, access to facilities and resources and opportunities for volunteering and involvement.
    3. Environmentally by developing well-planned and attractive settings encouraging active transport and use of public parks and leisure facilities. The provision of parks and green environments also include temperature reduction and mitigation of the urban heat island effect; air quality improvement; management of storm water reducing the incidence of flooding and water-borne disease; ecosystem support and biodiversity enhancement.
    4. Economically by reducing health care cost through reduction in disease and illness associated with lack of physical activity and social interaction.  A park and public space network can also provide local employment and investment opportunities and contributes to maintaining a healthy workforce.  

    Benefits of play

    Research shows that play has many benefits for children, including:

    • increasing their self-awareness, self-esteem, and self-respect
    • improving and maintaining their physical and mental health
    • giving them the opportunity to socialise with other children
    • allowing them to increase their confidence through developing new skills
    • promoting their imagination, independence, and creativity
    • offering opportunities for all abilities and backgrounds to play together
    • providing opportunities for developing social skills and learning
    • building resilience through risk taking and challenge, problem solving, and dealing with new and novel situations
    • providing opportunities to learn about the environment and wider community.

    Evidence also supports wider benefits of play to include:

    • parents feeling secure knowing their children are happy, safe and enjoying themselves
    • families benefit from healthier, happier children
    • play services are frequently seen as a focal point for communities
    • offers opportunities for social interaction for the wider community and supports the development of a greater sense of community spirit and cohesion
    • public outside spaces have an important role in the everyday lives of children and young people, especially as a place for meeting friends
    • parks and other green spaces are popular with adults taking young children out to play and for older children to spend time together.