Design plans for the redevelopment of Sugarworld Garden's existing playground aimed to transform it into a modern, inclusive play space, where children of all abilities can experience different types of fun and challenging play side-by-side.
Name: Sugarworld All Abilities Playground
Officially opened: 30 April 2011
Main play elements: A sensory play area, featuring a sand table and accessible diggers, cubby house and sensory garden, raised herb garden, daisy table, train and a musical hub with a bamboo arbour, plus a rope climbing course and an assortment of swings, including a bird's nest swing and a swing with a high back seat and harness.
Facilities: Picnic shelter with tables and a barbecue, bench and platform seating throughout, water bubbler and bike racks.
Toilet facilities: Amenities located outside of playground.
Address: Sugarworld Gardens, Hambledon Drive, Edmonton.
- Queensland Government ($224,350 Queensland All Abilities Playground Project)
- Cairns Regional Council ($273,465).
For more information: Contact council on (07) 4099 9444.
Plans were to redevelop an existing playground at Sugarworld Gardens and bring it into line with modern standards of accessibility and inclusion.
Sugarworld Gardens were established on the site of the former Hambledon Sugar Mill and had grown to become the premier open space parklands of Cairns' southern suburbs. Otherwise known as Edmonton's Botanic Reserve, the gardens featured numerous trees planted during the early pioneering days of the sugar industry. Further plantings over the years continued to enhance the botanical diversity of the gardens.
Situated in the centre of one of the fastest-developing areas of Cairns, Sugarworld was well-utilised by residents from surrounding suburbs. The addition of an all abilities play space for all children within the community would respond to the area's growing needs. More information about the gardens can be found on Cairns Regional Council's website.
Various stakeholders were identified early in the project’s planning stages. At the same time, a series of different strategies were also developed to encourage community and stakeholder participation, including:
- three two-hour workshops held at various times on the same day
- written surveys
- a public open day held at the Sugarworld Gardens' site
- student activity packs sent to a number of local schools
- public displays at local supermarkets
- information posted on council's website
- open discussion and ongoing feedback.
"Our students thoroughly enjoyed providing their feedback and can't wait to see the finished product" — Cairns teacher, special education services.
Final design plans would see several new features added as part of the redevelopment, including:
- a sand and water play area, featuring a sand table and accessible diggers
- a cubby house surrounded by a sensory garden
- a raised herb garden
- a musical hub with a bamboo arbour
- a rope climbing course
- an assortment of swings, including a bird's nest swing and a swing with a high back seat and harness
- picnic shelter with tables and a barbecue.