Nature Play was a puzzle to me. Canberra.bike reviews the Nature Play playgrounds in Farrer and Woden. What I like best about Farrer is not part of the Nature Play concept. If we want children to explore the world, we have to accept that it involves a certain level of calculated risk. Urban “cotten wool” children will miss out on learning opportunities that others close to nature have.
GROW with Nature Play
“Nature Play CBR is an ACT Government initiative established to increase the time children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature.”GROW with Nature Play, accessed 30/6/2020
This website is supported by the ACT Government. There is an app to download but canberra.bike has not looked at it. The video below is from this website.
“Designed for children 0 – 3 years old, the important formative years of a child’s life, GROW with Nature Play allows parents to plan age appropriate play lists”GROW with Nature Play, accessed 30/6/2020
Nature Play and cycling
Cycling is an outdoor activity that is part of the Nature Play concept but it is poorly supported on the website. Mountain biking is discussed here but the information is superficial and includes a link to another website that no longer exists, which is not helpful. Under “urban cycling” there are two helpful links to get kids on bikes. One to Pedal Power ACT ‘s Skills for Kids learn to ride program, and the second one to the Physical Activity Foundation that has a Ride or Walk to School program and works with schools. The BMX page provides a link to BMX Australia for further information. BMX has a long history in Australia and teaches kids many useful cycling skills.
“The Ride or Walk to School program is designed to drive culture change within the school community to once again, make riding and walking to school the norm for our kids.”Ride or Walk to School program, Physical Activity Foundation, accessed 30/6/2020
Nature Play playgrounds
Better Suburbs – Play Spaces Forum – was a public consultation (2017-2019) by the ACT Government and resulted in $150,000 for the construction of nature play space in Farrer. A further $350,000 was allocated for nature play spaces in Eddison Park, Woden, and Glebe Park, Civic, and designed in partnership with the community. The results of such partnerships are a mixed bag of lollies. The final reports are included below.
Eddison Park Nature Space
Considering the amount of energy invested in the design, the Eddison Park Nature Space is quite basic but still nice. A bike track was considered but dropped, as were water crossings over a log and a bridge. The nature space was built beside the existing playground.
The Eddison Park Nature Space is on an island but not all that big. The photos were shot on an overcast day and would be prettier on a better day.
Farrer Nature Space
The Farrer Nature Space is great but the most interesting element of it – the mountain bike track – was not part of the original design. The playground is interesting and attractive, and the track gives kids lots of room for practising their cycling skills.