Sharon Timms

TropicNow journalist

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Nature based playground for kids takes out state awards

What do dinosaur skeletons, a fairy garden and a rope climbing wall all have in common? They’re part of an award-winning, local playground designed to help children interact with nature.

The Centenary Lakes Nature Play facility, designed by the same architect team behind the popular Fig Tree playground near Wharf One Café, has been recognised as the best new playground in Queensland.

This nature-based facility collected the Playspace Award at the Parks and Leisure Australia Queensland 2018 Regional Awards of Excellence in Brisbane last night.

Although nature play is not a new philosophy, supporters like Cairns Mayor Bob Manning believe it encourages creativity and exploration of the outdoors in both children and their families.

“There are dinosaur bones to uncover, ropes to climb and play huts to build,” said Cr Manning. “It’s designed to be a place for kids to get their hands dirty and let their imaginations run free.

“On any given weekend, you’re likely to see groups celebrating birthdays or family gatherings at the Nature Play,” he said. “It’s in use every day and the feedback has been fantastic. It certainly makes this investment in our community a worthwhile one.”

Centenary Parks Nature Play will now progress to the national awards, to be held in Melbourne on 16 October.