Adventure playspace at Valley Reserve

Valley Reserve playground

A unique adventure playspace has opened in Valley Reserve, 80 Waimarie Drive, Mount Waverley.

In October 2016, the playspace won the Parks and Leisure Australia Award of Excellence for the best playspace in Australia (in the above $500,000 category).

For more information see this media release: More awards for Valley Reserve.

The playspace has rope climbing courses, a tree house and flying foxes. There is a mix of traditional play elements (swings, slides) and ropes, logs and other structures for balance, climbing and fitness.

It is Monash's first playspace of regional significance: developed after local families told us they would benefit from having a major playspace where families could spend several hours. The vision was to create a SPARC - a Socially Inclusive, Playful, Active, Relevant and Connected playspace.

Council has been careful to respect the natural bush surrounds of the playspace. For example, natural materials have been used for play structures and shelters and there is a buffer zone between the playspace and the existing bush.

In its 2015/16 budget, Council also funded the second stage of the project to upgrade a public toilet and the car park at Valley Reserve.

Now that the new playspace has opened, the reserve's old playspace has been removed. This area will be revegetated and grass will be planted.

For locations of other new playspaces in Monash, visit our playspace upgrades page.

Here is some background information on this project:

Valley Reserve - SPARC Vision & Design - Birds-eye

Valley Reserve - SPARC Vision & Design - Entrance

Valley Reserve - SPARC Vision & Design - Path

Valley Reserve - SPARC Vision & Design - Rope-Playground

The benefits include:

  • Adventure play for all ages, including people with disabilities
  • BBQ and picnic areas with shelter
  • Revegetation including planting more trees
  • Areas for outdoor classes such as bush education
  • An accessible pathway from the car park to one of the play terraces.

Community consultation

In July/August 2014, we consulted with our community to help us develop ideas for the playspace. This consultation included:

  • 95 people engaged with us and each other via our online forum. We received 33 ideas, lots of comments and close to 500 votes.
  • We held multiple consultation sessions including:
    • Morning at Valley Reserve (100+ people)
    • Friends of Scotchmans Creek and Valley Reserve public forum (20+ people)
    • Mount Waverley Library lunch time session (30+ people)
    • Mount Waverley Library after school session (40+ people)
    • Syndal South Primary School (10+ students)
    • Mount Waverley Primary School (90+ students).

We received similar comments across all consultation sessions. In summary, the feedback was to protect and enhance the bush, create an exciting active play area, and improve social opportunities for everyone. Taking this feedback onboard, we have focused the new play and social areas within the existing BBQ area and adjacent lawn clearing.

We divided all of the community comments into four key criteria:

  • Nature based activity
  • Adventure play and fitness for all ages
  • Bush education
  • Social and accessibility features.

We developed the following design vision for the park:

  • Incorporate nature based activities
  • Adventure play and fitness for all ages
  • Bush education
  • Social spaces, and improved accessibility and amenity

Key design criteria

Please find below the four key criteria that were followed when designing the new playspace and social areas at Valley Reserve.

Nature based activity:

  • New design to have minimal impact on the existing bushland, especially the remnant forest and sensitive planting areas. Additional revegetation planting and paths to be incorporated along existing planting borders to create a buffer zone to the existing bush
  • Provision for new interpretive signage with storytelling for children and other users of the park, about fauna and flora within the reserve
  • Focus on the use of natural materials for play structures and shelters.

Adventure play and fitness for all ages:

  • Develop a series of obstacles that could be used for all ages play activities including a mix of traditional play elements (swings, slides etc) and ropes, logs and other structures for balance, climbing and fitness.

Bush education:

  • Incorporate area for outdoor education for local schools and groups to hold lessons
  • Explore possibility for inclusion of a bush kinder – to be discussed further with Council and local kinders.

Social and accessibility:

  • Provide spaces for large and small groups, and also for individuals to enjoy the reserve
  • Improve existing BBQ and picnic facilities
  • Explore upgrade to existing toilet block, for accessible cubicle and baby change facility
  • Improve path connections between existing toilets, car park and proposed BBQ area
  • Provide clear directional signage to assist people going through the reserve.

Draft Concept Vision Plan

A draft Concept Vision Plan was developed for public comment. Council sought community comment on this plan in early November 2014.

Valley Reserve SPARC - Vision & Design (pdf, 1MB)

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Last updated: 22 December 2016