Environment Minister Mark Speakman joined The Ian Potter Foundation, major donors and Ambassadors Michael ‘Wippa’ and Lisa Wipfli with sons Ted and Jack at a Breaking Ground ceremony in Centennial Park to officially mark the start of construction.
“Centennial Parklands has become a true leader in the nature play movement in Australia. The vision to create a safe, unique space in Centennial Park for children to explore, learn and connect with the natural environment has been met with overwhelming support by the community,” said Kim Ellis, Executive Director of the Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands.
“The importance of this garden extends far beyond a place for children to play outdoors in a Park. This purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility will provide children opportunities to reconnect with nature at a time when many have rapidly decreasing access to nature and the outdoors.”
“As with any project of this scale, safety is the key, and we have delivered a project plan that will integrate this new attraction safely into what is one of Australia’s best-loved public parks.”
The Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden will provide an outdoor learning experience for children aged 2-12, of all abilities and backgrounds, enabling a 'whole-of-life' approach to education. Located adjacent to the existing Education Precinct off Dickens Drive in Centennial Park, the Garden will consist of dedicated natural spaces including Artesian water play, creek beds, bamboo forests, and outdoor classrooms, all designed to inspire and encourage children to engage in exciting, creative and imaginative outdoor 'wild play'.
This $3.7 million project has received valuable funding support from The Ian Potter Foundation, whose incredible support of $1.5 million has enabled the project to progress from dream to reality.
Construction works will take eight months with an expected opening in March 2017.
IAN POTTER CHILDREN’S WILD PLAY GARDEN PROJECT VISION
To create a safe, unique space in Centennial Park for children to explore, learn and connect with the natural environment - a wild play children's garden. Not just another playground or picnic area, but a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility aimed at providing children opportunities to reconnect with nature at a time when many have rapidly decreasing access to nature and the outdoors.