Published on 27 March 2019

Nature play mecca

It has been pegged as the "Morialta of the south" - a sprawling $2.2 million nature-based playspace planned for Morphett Vale's Wilfred Taylor Reserve.

A playspace that aims to encourage people of all ages to explore, roam and enjoy the gorgeous natural environment of Wilfred Taylor Reserve (on the corner of Wheatsheaf and States Roads) is gaining full steam, with the final concept design recently endorsed by Onkaparinga Council.

Now, council wants your feedback on the playspace, which includes a ‘hills to beach’ sand and water play area, ‘possum hangout’ featuring a three-metre tower and slide with rope climbing and balancing challenges; a sensory garden and a cultural nature trail that incorporates Kaurna artwork and encourages creek exploration.

You can check out the design, learn more about the journey so far and provide your feedback on the Wilfred Taylor Reserve nature playspace via the City of Onkaparinga’s YourSay page before 17 April.

If you’d like to get a feel for the space in the flesh, come along to an on-site ‘show and tell’ and free barbecue on Sunday 14 April, between noon–2pm.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson says Wilfred Taylor Reserve will be the City of Onkaparinga’s second regional playspace after Jubilee Park in Port Noarlunga.

“This is a really exciting project for the region because research from across the world tells us being outdoors and engaging with nature has huge benefits on the cognitive, emotional and physical development of children,” she says.

“The sheer size of the playspace, its many distinct and interconnected play areas and natural features such as Christie Creek, which runs through the reserve, will create a destination for families — from the south or further afield — as we’ve seen with the much-loved nature playspace that opened in Morialta Conservation Park in 2017.

“The playspace also pays tribute to the history of the reserve, which has long been an important site for the Kaurna people and was also once a farm.”

Council endorsed the playspace for community engagement and detailed design, at its 19 March meeting, and committed up to $900,000 for supporting infrastructure such as car parking, access roads, lighting and irrigated open space. The funds add to a $1.3 million State Government commitment to the playspace.

Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2019, with the playspace expected to open to the public by mid-2020.

While the playspace is being designed, a master plan of Wilfred Taylor Reserve is also being developed that will consider all site users and possibilities for new uses as well.

Artist impressions of the Wilfred Taylor Reserve nature playspace.