Adventure playground outlined in new Rathmines concept plan

Rathmines Park playground would undergo a major expansion, including new play equipment that reflects the site’s history, a nature play area and a massive learn-to-ride zone, under a concept plan on display for community feedback.

Lake Macquarie City Council is also seeking public input into plans for new outdoor fitness equipment in the park and a youth hub that will include a skate park and BMX pump track, and possibly a parkour precinct or other youth-oriented installations.

“These improvements will make Rathmines Park a destination for people of all ages throughout western Lake Macquarie and beyond,” Mr Callander said.

The concept plan calls for the park’s existing flying fox and other play equipment to be retained, with a new adjoining inclusive nature play area providing sensory play through natural materials such as rock and timber.

A new adventure playground would include climbing equipment with a higher degree of challenge for older children, themed to recognise the site’s history as a WWII Royal Australian Air Force seaplane base.

The footprint of the former aircraft stores building nearby would be turned into a 3800sqm learn-to-ride zone, with two-way road markings for young riders, a central roundabout, a Catalina seaplane theme and other child-friendly features.

The Rathmines Park Plan of Management and Master Plan adopted last year also identifies the need for a new youth hub.

“The ideas we’re seeking feedback on received strong support through the Rathmines Park Plan of Management and Master Plan,” Mr Callander said.

“We’re now seeking to deliver these exciting projects and would like input on what they will include and look like.”

Community feedback will also help shape the design and layout of the outdoor fitness equipment, which will either be installed in a single fitness zone or laid out along the foreshore as a fitness trail.

An accessible amenities building, formalised parking, new picnic facilities and landscaping are among the other features included in the concept plan.

The $2 million-plus projects will be funded through Council’s Toronto Catchment Contributions Plan and the NSW Government’s Everyone Can Play, and Resources for Regions grants funds.

“We want to gauge community support for our concept plan and seek suggestions for any alternative improvements to the current playground,” Mr Callander said.

Further information can be found at shape.lakemac.com.au/Rathmines-park and feedback closes Monday 17 May.

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