Kymberly Martin
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New all-abilities public playground at Uni of Queensland

The University of Queensland has opened a playground with all-abilities play spaces, which along with the recently opened community garden, is part of a strategy to help bring the wider community to the St Lucia campus.

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The whole playground has been designed to maximise all-abilities access, with dedicated parking bays that allow easy access to the playground.

A designated fun zone includes a sensory dome, a sandpit where children can dig to discover ‘dinosaur bones’, a 40-metre flying-fox-style zipline, an educational Yalp Memo Activity Zone and eight swings. Facilities include a revamped riverfront running track, outdoor fitness stations, a beach volleyball area, a ’round’ basketball court and multi-sports courts.

To cater for visitors of all abilities, the playground has Changing Places, accredited toilet and bathroom facilities that include full-sized change tables and hoists.

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Chief operating officer Greg Pringle said visitors to the playground and community garden had free access to barbecue areas, all-abilities play spaces, eco-friendly activities and pleasant places for socialising and relaxing. He said the fundamentals of the playground design were that it had to be nature based, environmentally friendly and cater for all abilities.

“The playground has received the highest-possible rating for accessibility, meaning that children of all abilities can use it. This has been a wonderful collaborative exercise that has brought together ideas from the university, schools, kindergartens and parents and children from the local community,” Pringle said. “The result is an educational playground for young and old of all abilities.”

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