A New Nature-Based Playspace for Edwardes Lake Park

Edwardes Lake Park, located in Reservoir, is of regional significance, and serves a critical role in providing ‘green lungs’ for the Darebin community. It is also an important connector for local habitat along Edgars Creek and is a popular regional destination for informal community gatherings and recreation.

At the Council Meeting on Monday 26 July 2021, Council endorsed the design concept for the Edwardes Lake Park Playspace (close to Seaver Grove). You can view the Council Report from our website here.

Creating a new focal point on this side of the park was important to the community to activate this area and provide an alternative to the heavily used Griffiths Street playspace.

We would like to thank our community and stakeholders for participating in our engagement activities over the past couple of years.

The design concept

The endorsed concept design is based on ideas from the community, and as a result of community feedback, the following key changes were made to the Playspace concept design:

  • Community feedback showed a clear preference (82%) for a wooden sound arch rather than a ferraphone, and therefore the proposed concept design includes a wooden sound arch.
  • The playspace design and planting will ensure sight lines are kept open to enable passive surveillance and to maintain a sense of safety. This is also to reduce the potential for vandalism and graffitiing of the playspace
  • Canopy trees will be provided to ensure sufficient shading within the playspace
  • Improved accessibility to the playspace through the inclusion of a gravel path and soft fall rubber under play elements in the design

This exciting new playspace will be on the slope above the wetland and lake, close to the boat house, BBQ area and small playspace, tennis courts and skate park.

The design of the new playspace focuses on nature play and adventurous play for children of all ages. The slope creates opportunities for sliding, climbing, swinging, rolling and spinning.

It also offers space for building cubbies, engaging with nature, playing with water and sound equipment, having picnics, watching a performance, hanging out, and enjoying the view.

Map of the concept plan

Collage of three images - children playing in a maze or labrynth of bluestone, performance space in the outdoors made of steel and Royal Park Nature Play playground
First image: Mamma Knows North – Merri Creek Labrynth, Clifton Hill (www.mammaknowsnorth.com.au)
Second image: Image by Rodrigo Sheward – Pinohuacho Observation Deck (archdaily.com)
Third image: Image by Joyce Watts (tothotornot.com)

What’s happened so far?

Council has been considering improvements to the park over a number of years and undertook community engagement in 2016 and 2017 to review the existing masterplan and understand if Council’s directions, needs and aspirations needed to be updated.

The community engagement process identified that one of the local aspirations was to diversify activity by creating a new playspace in the western underused section of the park.

The Playspace design concepts were then developed through community and stakeholder engagement activities which included:

  • Community drop-in sessions
  • The formation of a Community Reference Group
  • Online surveys
  • On-site meetings with Government Agencies
  • Mailouts to local residents
  • Feedback from several Advisory Committees

The complete engagement summaries can be found in the document library and here.

Council is happy to share the following recent improvements that have been made to the Edwardes Lake Park:

· Resurfacing of the skate park

· Widening of internal paths

· New park furniture including seats, picnic suites and bins

· A new public toilet and Changing Places facility near the Griffiths Street all abilities playspace.

What's next?

Now that we have a design concept for the new Playspace, Council will be seeking opportunities to fund its delivery in future years.

Tell Us Your Thoughts on The Edwardes Lake Park Playspace Design

Although the consultation phase has ended, you can still email any questions or comments to City.Design@darebin.vic.gov.au or ask to speak to a City Designer about the design concept by calling 8470 8888.