All-abilities park’s fantastic design

By Robert Muir

Minor refinements to the design of the estimated $1.32 million All-Abilities and Adventure Playground Park at Purtle Park Mulwala have been made, with particular reference to the ‘hero piece’.

“The refinements focus on the ‘hero piece’ – the main attraction piece, a 12m high suspension of sky cabins - which help the hero piece to have a ‘wow’ factor,” the main instigator of the Focus Group behind the proposed park, Kaitlyn Cummins told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.

“The scope of works planned for the project are far more exciting than we could have ever imagined.  

“The natural environment and references to our local water system will be put together. It’s a perfect mix of traditional and nature play creating something really exciting for every person. We are creating a place where people want to come and stay.”

The family friendly area will contain a free-standing all-abilities play system that will quite literally ‘reach to the skies’ with children able to move between sky cabins along swaying paths 8m above the ground, a new toilet block and parking.

With a Yarrawonga Mulwala Traffic Bridge theme with the dip, the playground’s suspension bridge and large play elements are designed to encourage risk taking and problem solving for older children, along with natural park elements of logs and rocks to promote balance. 

Toddler play areas, a fenced play area, water and vertical play areas, a basket swing, the pelican nest and hideaway frames and flying fox, and water slide are other well-thought out ideas and features.

Kaitlyn said an exciting development in the design is the inclusion of a sandy mooring which will provide safe, graded entry into Lake Mulwala.

“It’s something that does not exist on the New South Wales side of the lake and will allow for people of all ages and abilities to participate in water based activities such as wading, paddle boarding  and kayaking,” she said.

“This part of the project is still being engineered and will be outside the budget allocated for the park to date.

“We believe it will add a major recreational element for the play space and really link Lake Mulwala and its aquatic activities to the park.” 

Fiona Slade Landscape Emerge contractors based out of Albury prepared the concept plans which were on public exhibition.

The tender process will take place in August/September and construction will start early next year.

Focus Group member Helen Purtle said she was very proud to be part of the involvement with this park. “Jack Purtle was a great community man who we’re very proud of,” his daughter-in-law said.

“It’s great to see the legacy of his community work not only be ‘his’ park but to have this all-abilities adventure playground created here, for everyone.

“It’s a cross border project, bringing the two communities together. It’s bringing old and young people together for a lot of enjoyment. From a mental health aspect, this project can be so beneficial. ”

Bethany Orr emphasized the significance of the All Abilities Adventure Playground Park. “It’s the most popular project posted on Federation Council’s website,” she said.

Kaitlyn added: “We are so grateful to the amazing local businesses and community groups that have donated or made pledges towards our project. 

“A huge ‘thank you’ to major sponsors Yarrawonga Holiday Park Committee, Mulwala Water Ski Club, Dennis Medical Centre, O’Bryan and O’Donnell, Focus Well-Being and Kennedy Builders. We never would have got to this stage without you. 

“We’re really excited about the project. It will be a user-friendly project, designed professionally. The council’s support of the project is really positive and we are excited to be able to deliver an amazing asset that will benefit locals and tourists of all ages and interests.” 

The Focus Group will be working with council and local community groups to help raise funds to ensure the project can be completed in full.

Focus Group members would love to hear from local community groups and businesses who may be interested in helping to achieve this goal.