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Paving the way for Community Playspace

10 February 2022

Community Playspace Design

Council has endorsed the design for the eagerly anticipated Hamilton Botanic Garden Children’s and Community Precinct at Wednesday’s ordinary Council meeting.

Council received funding from the State Government in 2019 under the ‘Growing Victoria’s Botanical Gardens grant program’ (GVBG) to develop a design, heritage planning and scoping for the Children’s Garden and Community Precinct. This Precinct is a key component of the Hamilton Botanic Gardens Master Plan 2015 that seeks to link the former animal enclosure with the new flight aviary, Curators Cottage and with the remaining gardens.

Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Bruach Colliton said the design endorsement from Council paves the way for an exciting intergenerational project.

“The development of this space has been a high priority of Council. It will rejuvenate and ultimately maximise the potential of a long unused area and to build upon a cherished landmark of this region,” said Cr Colliton.

“The project has been designed with families of all ages in mind and will importantly create a space where visitors can gather, explore and enjoy different play and interactive experiences including a grassland maze, lawn area, water play, water cascade and falls.

“Throughout the process, we have consulted with Traditional Owners and heritage experts, landscape experts and artists. This input has helped finalise a design to capture the interests of children, provide natural play elements and tell the story of the zoological displays while respecting the heritage design of the existing gardens. The design creates pockets of natural elements for children to play, imagine and explore the history of zoological displays in the garden through artwork and sculptures.

“Community engagement has been extensive on this project with over 200 responses received from community members. We are now thrilled to be able to make this a reality for the people of our Shire and their families. This design has really been a labour of love for Council staff, Friends of the Gardens and countless others, and is a testament to how widely appreciated our gardens are locally and further afield,” concluded Cr Colliton.

The next stage of the project involves lodgment of a heritage permit application with Heritage Victoria and a planning permit, and advocating for funding opportunities to assist in the construction and delivery of the space.

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