A new park in Gunnedah had a quiet opening to suit its surrounding serenity of Pensioners Hill Reserve last week on Friday.

It is the most recent addition to the Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group and Gunnedah West Rotary Cub’s quest to improve Pensioners Hill’s landscape as the project nears the end.

The sounds of native birds will now hopefully be married with the sounds of children on the reserve.

Behind the beautification of the area is the efforts of members planting, landscaping and adding barbecues with picnic tables.

Concerns were made from members as resources for children to play were limited on the reserve.

The playground aimed to complement the natural surrounds while still being inviting for children.

Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group chairperson George Truman believes the playground successfully suits its surrounds.

“We spent quite a bit of time researching different options and came up with this design which is predominantly timber combined with other materials,” he said.

“We wanted it to blend in and be a part of the Pensioner Hill Reserve which is predominantly a natural area that encourages people to get out and spend time outdoors and explore.”

Its unofficial opening came last Friday where children were invited for an expert opinion.

Making an appearance was Ink Family Services (Gunnedah Family Daycare) and Baptist Preschool who wrote letters of support along with Winanga-Li Aboriginal Child and Family Centre who were unable to make it on the day.

The group successfully received money from round five of the Stronger Country Community Fund.

“The cost of putting something like this in is quite large … and we were lucky to get a grant through the NSW government but we then needed letters of support from community groups and schools to justify the use and the need,” Mr Truman said.

It is open for the public to enjoy but installation of items such as more seating and a bubbler will be underway in the future.

Mr Truman predicts the project will likely be finished in November and hopes an official opening can take place then.

“The Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group has done a lot of finishing touches, the lawns and getting the path installed. There have been members who have been very active up here to work around the construction of it to get everything … fitting in with the rest of the aesthetic of the reserve,” Mr Truman said.

“The beauty of it is it is quite close to the top so people using the barbecue areas can still see the children.”

Gunnedah Family Day Care coordinator Brenda Head noticed multiple playground equipment that sets it aside from others in town.

“The [spring rockers], it is wonderful to see them back in the playground. You don’t see much anymore but it actually gives great skills to the children,” she said.

“[I don’t think] we have the nets in Gunnedah, so that is something new to add.

“This playground equipment is great for building both gross and fine motor skills as children swing, climb, slide, push, pull, run, stretch, and develop their core muscles and control of their bodies; along with further developing their social and communication along with improving concentration skills.

“Gunnedah Family Day Care children loved being invited to the opening of the beautiful new park.

“You don’t think about what a child gets out of going to a park. It is a lot. A lot of development and a lot of problem solving.”

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