Parks & Recreation

New native playground takes shape at Gardens

Published: 10 Jul 2020 2:42pm

Works on Wagga Wagga City Council’s Entwine Project to revitalise sections of the Botanic Gardens are on track for completion in September 2020.

Earthworks at the new native garden section of the $924,000 project started in June and have almost wrapped up.

Project Manager Thomas Lemerle said there is still some demolition work and site set-out to be completed before the team moves on to the construction phase.

“There’ll be two new barbecue shelters, there’ll be a new spidergon playground, there’ll be lots of rock walls and batters and some native planting,” Mr Lemerle said.

“The ethos is really a natural play space. There’ll be logs and rocks and mulch and things for kids to crawl along.

“We’re going to put in a lot of endemic species, we’re going to put in a lot of flowering species, really bring some colour back to the space, a lot of big shade trees, things that are suitable to the Wagga climate and will grow really well.”

Ramps and low maintenance pathways will also be constructed to improve accessibility to the space and to strengthen the connection and visitor flow between the Botanic Gardens and the Museum of the Riverina site located on the northern side of the precinct.

One of these pathways will link to the Brolga Pond and surrounding Bamboo Garden, which are also being refurbished to support events and outdoor activities.

A new viewing deck will be constructed, extending over part of the Brolga Pond, while the roof from the current rotunda will be relocated to one end of the deck.

The thick stand of bamboo will be removed, clearing the way for the construction of an amphitheatre, which will stretch from the Brolga Pond up the slope towards the main road.

“We realise the Pond and Bamboo Garden hold special memories for many people in Wagga,” Mr Lemerle said.

“They’ve been popular locations for wedding day photos, and, over the years, many couples have etched their names and marriage date into a bamboo stem.

“The history associated with those bamboo plants will not be lost. We will use lengths of some of those stems featuring names and dates to create a bamboo tunnel for kids to crawl along at the native playground.”

The Entwine project is funded through a $739,466 grant from the NSW Regional Growth – Environment & Tourism Fund with the balance contributed by Wagga Wagga City Council.