MidCoast Council has welcomed the announcement by Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead MP, of $550,000 in funding for the provision of shading to playgrounds in the Myall Lakes electorate area.
"The community has been calling for shade protection on playgrounds across the Mid Coast region," council's director of community spaces and services, Paul De Szell said.
"We have listened and have now been successful in applying for a grant under the NSW Government's Stronger Country Communities Fund which will enable us to provide shade for some of our large regional parks."
Parks to be shaded as part of the funding package include Lone Pine at Tuncurry, Palmgrove Park at Forster, Central Park at Wingham and Market Square at Cundletown, with additional parks to be announced as they are included in the program.
“We are also currently looking at our high use parks across the region to determine which other playgrounds will be able to be shaded as part of this funding package.”
Fotheringham Park in Taree will be shaded under other funding arrangements, as part of plans for the region’s first inclusive play space ‘Livvi’s Place’, Mr De Szell explained.
MidCoast Council manages 86 playgrounds across the region, with 10 identified as high use or regional parks, and the remainder either are categorised as high use district parks, or lower use neighbourhood parks.
"We have a plan for upgrades to the playgrounds which focuses on maintenance providing structured or natural shade over playground equipment and improving accessibility to play equipment.
"This year we have already completed upgrades to playgrounds at Palmgrove Park in Forster, Limeburners Creek and relocated a playground with new equipment and a small cycle loop in Nabiac.
“We've also partnered with the Harrington Lions Club to install a new playground at Gordon Smith Reserve in Harrington."
Work is currently underway on the playground at Billabong Park in Gloucester, with work about to commence on playground and public amenities improvements at Providence Bay Park in Hawks Nest.