The Shire of Wickepin’s new historically-inspired playground was officially opened by Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson on November 16.
The opening of the Wogolin Playground was attended by Shire president Julie Russell and chief executive Mark Hook as well as students from Wickepin and Yealering primary schools.
The idea for a new playground was first sparked by community members more than seven years ago as there was not a designated recreational precinct in Wickepin.
“The playground at the time was small, only accommodating a small number of a younger age group and it had become outdated,” Shire community development officer Karen Langford said.
“The old skate park was 20 to 30 years old which didn’t appeal to our growing younger population.
“The objective was to create an intergenerational recreation play space while also improving the appearance and street appeal of the area for the community and for tourists.”
The new playground incorporates part of the town’s history through recreating the old water tower as a climbing frame and slide structure.
“The old water tower was mentioned during consultation as the old structure held much affection in the older generations as they reminisced about playing on and around the water tower as youngsters,” Ms Langford said.
“The old water tower had a very important purpose which was to supply water to the steam engines on the rail lines in the early 1900s.
“Nature Play Solutions and Oxford Landscaping did a wonderful job in recreating the water tower that reflects the historical perspective of our town.
“It creates a point of difference to other recreational parks and gives a ‘wow’ factor for visitors passing through.”
The new playground features a slide, spider swing, flying fox and a water play area with an old style water pump.
Ms Langford said the playground was designed to create an inclusive community space.
“The area is a wonderful place for intergenerational children of our community to interact and give them a sense of pride of the area,” she said.
“Moving forward there will be an information sign erected to explain the historical relevance of the area.”
She hoped the playground would become a tourist attraction.
“As the playground is clearly visible to passersby, there is an attraction to stop and explore the area,” she said.
“The improved streetscape invites visitors and locals to stop and utilise the play space.”
Ms Langford said the Shire was in the planning stages of redeveloping the skate park and basketball park within the recreational precinct.
“The skate park will have something for every skating enthusiast,” Ms Langford said.
“There will be ledges, gaps, rails and quarter pipes to get the hang of along with a three-quarter basketball court.
“We also have a long-term vision of introducing a pump track for the two-wheeler fans.”