Carnegie in Boonwurrung Country
The Packer Park Playground, initially designed in the early 2000s, has long served as a pioneering example of accessible playspaces in Melbourne. However, recognizing the need to align with evolving community expectations and standards, the Council embarked on a comprehensive engagement process to understand the specific needs of the community. This initiative aimed to transform the playground into a unique and cherished destination for local residents and visitors alike, in line with other municipal renewals.
The project places a strong emphasis on preserving the remnant Manna Gum tree by thoughtfully siting play structures outside its protection zone. These structures include towering elements, bridges, platforms, and giant slides nestled amidst the tree canopy. The playground also boasts a large bird nest swing and a sensory space featuring animal sculptures, sand and water play areas, an accessible sand pit, musical components, and trickle streams to encourage imaginative play. Inclusivity is ensured with an accessible wheelchair-play unit, in-ground trampolines, and flying foxes. Furthermore, the project maintains a vital connection to the wetland through carefully chosen plantings. Overall, this project successfully blends community aspirations and ecological sensitivity, showcasing ACLA’s adeptness at harmoniously integrating these elements.