Singing flowers, a pump track and nature-based playground for Stratford

THE final design for a new nature-based playground and BMX-pump track in Stratford’s Apex Park has been released, and construction is now underway.

The playground will feature a climbing ropes course, basket swing, balancing logs and an accessible spinner which will allow wheelchair access for inclusive play.

The ropes course was voted the most popular piece of play equipment following recent community feedback.

The children of Stratford said they enjoyed climbing at Apex Park, and asked for more challenging climbing ropes, which have been incorporated into the design.

The new ropes course provides climbing, scrambling and balancing for all skill levels.

The basket swing was the second-most popular item, with Stratford’s children ensuring it could fit more than one person.

Harmony flowers – interactive flowers that sing when struck – will also be installed, and were chosen by Stratford Primary School and St Patrick’s Primary School students to replace the talking tubes that were removed from the design because of community feedback regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) hygiene.

Avon Landcare Group and social enterprise Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland have developed and designed the landscaping, with plenty of indigenous plants set to improve the environment surrounding the park, the new bridge and the Avon River.

Shelters, additional seating, more bins and a water fountain have also been included in the final design.

The new additions to Apex Park will be built close to the new bridge and have been designed to complement the park’s existing playground and facilities.

The improvements to Apex Park are scheduled for completion in the coming months.

The new bridge began operating in December 2020, as part of the Gippsland Line Upgrade, which eventually will enable trains to run every 40 minutes between Traralgon and Melbourne in off-peak periods.