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17 Oct 2018

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden named best play space in Australia!

We are so excited and proud to announce Australia’s Best Play Space over >$0.5M was awarded to our very own Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden overnight by Parks and Leisure Australia at the World Urban Parks Congress!

Centennial Park, dubbed the ‘People’s Park’ by Sir Henry Parkes when it was created 130 years ago, also won its sixth consecutive international Green Flag Award firmly cementing the Park’s status as one of the world’s best public parks and a leader in the realm of green space management practices.
Our team were present at the event to receive in person its GOLD International Large Urban Parks Association Award, announced in July this year by the World Urban Parks Association. So all in all it was a trifecta of a night!

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden is one of the most exciting and rewarding additions to Centennial Park in its 130 years, and since its opening last October has seen over 230,000 visits through its gates.
Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton

Why our Garden is the best in Australia

The WILD PLAY Garden, which celebrates its first birthday tomorrow (Thursday 18 October), was recognised for its unique approach to child learning and engagement, designed to engage the five senses and reconnect children to nature. The 6,000sq m state-of-the-art, purpose built space for nature play is an outdoor experience for kids and families of all abilities and backgrounds.

It is the first of its kind in New South Wales and it is now the best play space in Australia.

 The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden named best play space in Australia

Exceeding expectations

The Garden has exceeded all expectations in terms of innovation, originality, build, engagement and general enthusiasm by the children, families, groups and stakeholders who enjoy the space.

Receiving over 230,000 visits since opening the Garden is a nature escape and backyard for the highly densely populated eastern suburbs and beyond.

It is made up of 12,000 plants and trees, dry creek beds, an Artesian water play area with over 200 tonnes of Australian stone, bamboo forest, tunnels, turtle mounds – as well as the Park’s first treehouse.

The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden named best play space in Australia!

Nature education

Centennial Parklands has been an industry leader for many years promoting nature education, wild play and its benefits for children facilitating learning experiences, programs and events for over 32,000 participants annually.
The Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden has become an integral part of a broader suite of educational programs that the Parklands delivers.
The Garden was designed by award-winning agency, ASPECT STUDIOS, and built by Design Landscapes Pty Ltd, taking 13 months to complete.
A key deliverable from the Centennial Park Master Plan, the Garden was officially opened on 18 October 2017 by the Minister for Environment, Gabrielle Upton.

A little bit about the award

Parks and Leisure Australia are the leading industry association for professionals in the parks and leisure sector. Their awards showcase the excellent work of parks and leisure professionals who deliver enormous benefit to our communities.
Finalists were announced at events held across the country with national winners announced at the National Finalists Gala Dinner held at the prestigious Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday 16 October 2018.
Centennial Park has secured six consecutive Green Flag Awards firmly cementing its status as one of the world’s best public parks and a leader in the realm of green space management practices. Find out more about the Green Flag Awards here.

centennial park, sydney, australia

About the Large Urban Parks Award

Centennial Park was recognised for its world-leading parks management by winning Gold in the World Urban Parks inaugural 2018 International Large Urban Parks Awards in July 2018. It is now the only park in Australia to hold an award and one of only two gold-award winners in the world.
World Urban Parks noted Centennial Park for its “well managed and protected mix of rich nature, well-preserved heritage and provision of a good range of activities, in cooperation with the community in the heart of the densely populated inner Sydney.”

Collecting gold

It has been a major year of recognition for the Centennial Parklands team. This award takes us to a total of nine for the year – five for the Ian Potter Children’s WILD PLAY Garden, three for Centennial Park and one for Moore Park. None of which would be possible without the hardworking team and their commitment to create and deliver an outstanding and unique community asset that has gained world recognition.

Category: News
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