The Thomas Street playground has just celebrated its 29th birthday. For a playground that was built for a 20-year lifespan, this is a remarkable achievement.

It’s time now to look to the future and plan a new playground that caters for all abilities and age groups.

We understand that this playground has been the source of many great memories for generations of families and we encourage you to share them by clicking through to the Share your memories page below.

The consultation for this project has been undertaken across a number of stages to first understand all the ideas and opportunities and then refine them down into priorities.

You can read more about the ideas that were provided in a previous consultation by clicking through to the share your ideas page below. To see a summary of feedback we received during this phase of engagement, including at drop in sessions, community reference group meetings and School visits, download the summary report in the document libray.

Thomas Street Park is home to a much-loved wooden fort playground, which was developed via a community initiative in the mid-1980s. The project used a model, developed by American Robert Lethers, and was ground-breaking at the time in the capacity for residents to be actively involved in the funding and construction.

The playground has reached the end of its useable life.

Its condition, has declined to a point where repairs will soon outweigh the cost of a new playground. Issues with visibility, accessibility and character do not meet contemporary community needs and expectations.

The need for renewal raises the exciting opportunity to develop a new, regional-scale playspace that can be enjoyed by all, including children with a disability.

Bayside currently has very little accessible play, but has a number of local schools catering for children with a disability. Play is a critical part of any child’s development and design for accessible play is now well understood.

Accessible playgrounds draw people from a wide radius and become a source of community pride. Good design can potentially include play structures that become a landmark.

Inclusive Play means that children can play together regardless of abilities – they can share the same equipment, or play side by side on equipment that is modified but does the same type of activity. Not everyone will have the abilities to use all the equipment in the playground, but everyone will have a choice of a range of activities.

Replacement also raises an opportunity to introduce some age appropriate exercise equipment to encourage seniors to be active in the park.

Bayside has an aging community, above the metropolitan average, and active ageing is particularly relevant to our community. A range of equipment could be installed to focus on improving balance and flexibility, as well as maintaining strength. See the photo gallery on this page for examples of what could be installed.

Like any playground, those built for senior or multigenerational use also serve as social hubs, making them great places to meet people and make friends locally.

The plan will consider how people get to the park and what’s needed for an enjoyable extended stay. This includes thinking about accessible car parking, firm paths, a generous amount of well positioned seating, appropriate toilet facilities and gathering spaces to provide a pleasant environment to enjoy being active outdoors. The playground will complement the existing leafy character of the park and landscaping to create clear sightlines will be an important element of the design. Your input will help to shape not just what types of activities the playground provides for, but how it looks and feels.