Green Point Reserve was once an underutilised pocket of green space in a quiet residential area of Oyster Bay. Vehicular access into the reserve was restricted (both physically and visually) along the frontage and there was limited visitor parking, frequented by parents dropping off and picking up their children from the adjacent child care centre. An aged public play structure sat within the reserve, but was due for a much need upgraded along with revisiting the functionality of the overall site.
The local community was engaged in preliminary conversations to identify the opportunities and constraints for the park. From these conversations, a range of elements were proposed for the site, supported by a complementing planting and materials palette that encourage a range of informal and explorative play activities; inspiring the imagination to go beyond the prescribed realms of creation.
The site is surrounded by significant stands of native bushland and the new play space draws its inspiration from this site character. The timber play structure and swing set by Moduplay Australia (www.moduplay.com.au) blends into the natural bush setting, shaded by the canopies of the existing eucalypts. A timber balance challenge structure and feature lizard provides a valuable nature play setting for families with children of all ages. The suite of park furniture (designed and constructed by a local artist), creates an aesthetic consistency that allows the play space to blend seamlessly with the existing trees and its surroundings.
The previous timber post and rail frontage has been replaced by locally sourced sandstone boulders. Not only does it prevent vehicles from entering the site, but it provides a natural barrier without making the site look unfriendly. Removable bollards allow for vehicles to enter the reserve along the upgraded access route and provides a direct link to the child care centre and down to Green Point Observatory.
The planting palette is colourful and textural, adding another layer of explorative play for children while sticking to the native palette of Sutherland Shire Council’s Greenweb network. Leaf mulch becomes a valuable play element in itself; encouraging children to dig, create, build and explore. Plant species are indigenous to the area; reinforcing vegetation corridors and links with surrounding remnant vegetation and strengthening the sense of place.