Gladstone Regional Council’s Lions Park in Gladstone city has claimed the Park of the Year award at the Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) Regional Awards for Queensland.
The honour was announced at the Awards of Excellence Presentation Dinner in Redcliffe on May 24, held in conjunction with the 2018 PLA Queensland State Conference.
The Lions Park (pictured above) also earned highly commended status in the Playspace Award for projects costing greater than $500,000.
Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said the ‘seven-sensory’ venue was redeveloped with financial assistance through the State Government’s Works for Queensland program.
“Consultation completed prior to the park’s redevelopment last year showed that residents wanted an all ages, all abilities play and recreational space that would serve them now and well into the future,” Cr Burnett said.
“Ideas gained at the 2015 Parks and Leisure Australia Conference led directly to the decision to implement a design incorporating the seven human senses and the importance of including these sensory elements in the park design.
“As a result, we now have a brilliant community play and recreation space that caters for people of all ages, ability, cultural background and gender.
“I congratulate our Parks and Environment team and principal contractors HNK Project Management, Playscape Creations, JM Kelly Constructions and JW Concepts.”
The design incorporates sensory features accommodating children and adults with disabilities including sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, visual impairment, Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida.
Cairns Regional Council was also recognised for a playground designed to help children interact with nature.
The Centenary Lakes Nature Play took out the Playspace Award (projects greater than $500,000) at the Parks and Leisure Australia Queensland 2018 Regional Awards of Excellence in Brisbane.
The playground, partially funded under the Queensland Government’s Works For Queensland program, was opened in November 2017.
It includes interactive features that encourage creativity and exploration of the outdoors.
“There are dinosaur bones to uncover, ropes to climb and play huts to build,” Mayor Bob Manning said. “It’s designed to be a place for kids to get their hands dirty and let their imaginations run free.”
Toowoomba Regional Council’s Urban Forest tree planting program claimed the accolade in the Best Rural Industry Contribution category. During the past two years, the program has seen 4214 trees planted across the Toowoomba region.
The Queensland winners will progress to the national awards, to be held in Melbourne on 16 October.