Designed by those who know best

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Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown with students who helped design the park. Photo: Megan Dunn

This is what happens when design and decision making is done by the people who are affected most – good results.

Designed by kids for kids, the Barr and Bass Street Reserve at Colyton is ready for use, complete with a flying fox, climbing net, nest swing, bike track, BBQ, and picnic area.

As site works on the park were completed last week, it’s the newest in the Penrith region, and is the result of hard work of students from Bennett Road Public School and Colyton High School Trade School.

Last year students had the task of planning a playground for the Colyton community as part of Penrith Council’s Mayoral Challenge program.

While the reserve was frequently used and in a good location with plenty of shade, the ground was uneven and there were patches of dirt throughout the reserve.

The old and dated equipment that was deteriorating was removed altogether following damage in 2015, and provided a blank canvas for students.

The new-look park. Photo: Megan Dunn
The new-look park. Photo: Megan Dunn

Now their hard work has paid off, and students can play on brand new, graffiti-free equipment they chose themselves, with elements suitable for toddlers through to teens.

A Penrith Council spokesperson said students were given a budget, and co-designed the reserve with help from Council’s landscape architects, Parks Department and the Neighbourhood Renewal Team.

“Participating students were given a budget of $100,000 which they were tasked with utilising to develop an accessible space which considered the needs of the whole community,” he said.

“Students presented their design to Council in 2015 and did so with such confidence and pride in their community that the Councillors voted to contribute additional funds for the provision of a BBQ and shelter.”

The project came to a total of $140,000.

While it can be used by the public now, the park will be officially opened on Friday, April 1 from 3pm to 6pm, in a free event hosted by Penrith Council, and celebrated with a BBQ and family fun.

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