Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New children's playground opened in Kings Park - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

New children's playground opened in Kings Park - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The new Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park opened to Western Australian families Saturday, 15 October 2011 by Premier Colin Barnett. The much anticipated 60,000 sqm bush landscape invites children to immerse themselves in a natural environment doing what comes naturally – building cubbies, wading through creeks, climbing rocks, playing hide and seek and collecting bush treasures.

Mr Barnett said "This is a wonderful playground area for children, .........a return to the old days where you can walk in the creek, play in the wetland, climb trees, get dirty, get your hands wet, even probably skin your knee. But this is a lovely, lovely bushland setting right in the heart of Perth and it will be enjoyed by countless children and their families for generations to come."

Kings Park CEO Mark Webb said ‘Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is a place for kids to be kids and to experience nature first-hand in our increasingly urbanised and structured lives, we hope this will inspire Western Australian children to love nature and to become the environmental custodians of the future.’

Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is open from 9.30 am - 5.00 pm, Tuesday - Sunday (closed Monday and all of February for maintenance). Speaking of maintenance - see Garden Maintenance for Playspaces above or on Scribd.

Lots of good things, in respect to naturalistic play, are coming out of WA.

My first response in reading this article was excitement that the importance of naturalistic play had been recognised in such a massive way and by a number of formal institutions.

My second innate response was suspicion that the RIO TINTO tag was associated. For those of you outside Australia RIO TINTO is a massive mining company based in Australia.

HOWEVER if you've ever been part of a parent committee or fund raising committee attempting to raise money for a worthwhile project you would be aware of the feeling of dejection upon approaching big businesses and being told that their PR arm has allocated their funding to a high visibility "sexy" cause, basically something that makes them look like good corporate citizens.

Naturalistic play is vogue but it's definitely not sexy.  So my feelings are this...... CONGRATULATIONS and KUDOS to Rio Tinto for investing in our children's' future, good on you for seeing past your corporate profile and helping create something that will change lives and hopefully create a plethora of future environmental stewards. In days when most multinational corporations are being generically painted as financial villains, its  heart-warming to see one acting so altruistically. And yes, for all you cynics (of which I'm usually Queen) they probably can write it off tax-wise and they will get great press from it, but - SO WHAT - at least they are doing something that will benefit current and future generations, well after any initial fanfare has dissipated. 

A link to the official webpage can be found here.

Again, congratulations to everyone involved in the project, for what it's worth you have my admiration and appreciation.
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