The development of the Geelong Community Adventure Playground was an amazing Community Project and was a terrific example of what could be achieved with the assistance of the community.
It was initiated, planned, constructed and part-funded by a community committee.
When it was developed it in 2000 Geelong’s premier playground – the biggest and the best in the region.
The City was approached in 1997 by a local resident seeking to develop an adventure playground in the Geelong Region.
Interested residents and parents formed an incorporated committee that they named the “Geelong Community Adventure Playground Inc.”.
Children from the community had input into the design and all the components within the playground were chosen on 'Design Day'. 60 children from 20 different schools were involved.
The committee in conjunction with The City set about finding a suitable home for the playground and after many site assessments and proposals finally decided on Rippleside Park. This process took a substantial amount of time and a number of issues had to be resolved before a final decision was made.
Once the site selection was made the community committee continued to secure community support and fund raising. The committee raised a significant $50,000 and also $50,000 worth of donated materials, professional labour and equipment.
An application was submitted to Sport and Recreation Victoria in 1999 and was successful in securing $50,000 under the Minor Facilities Grant Scheme (funded from the Community Support Fund). The City also contributed $50,000
24 Major Sponsors contributed between $500 and $10,000 dollars each.100 general sponsors contributed between $200-$500 each.
1,200 fence pickets were purchased by individuals.
The construction dates were from 31 October to 5 November 2000. The playground was completed on Sunday 5 Nov and opened to the public at 4.15pm on this date. Only 15 minutes behind schedule. Not bad for a project that had been ongoing for 3 years!
Over 1,500 volunteers we involved during the 6-day build all of who were very enthusiastic and professional in their manner. Volunteers included tradesmen, SES, CFA, Baysa and anyone that wanted to lend a hand. There were jobs for everyone including catering preparation and service, first-aid officers, safety co-ordinators, volunteer sign-in, clean-up crew, skilled and unskilled construction workers, pre-fabrication, public relations and plant operators.
The Geelong Community Adventure Playground Committee General Co-ordinators were Linda Perkins and Rosanne Bourke. The committee also comprised of 12 other members and 9 past committee members. 14 Captains lead the groups of volunteers during the build.