The winning My Park Rules park design from Marrickville Public School began construction on Monday 10 April. Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, cracked through the first layer of asphalt to celebrate the beginning of the newer, schoolyard. “The start of the build marks a new and exciting phase for these students, I was blown away by the passion for their school” said Lucy Turnbull, who was also a member of the high-profile judging panel.
“This will be a place of reprieve in a dense, urban area,” said Tonia Gray, My Park Rules jury member and childhood development expert. “Children benefit immensely from spending time in green spaces - including memory improvements, lower risk of childhood obesity, better reasoning skills, improved cognitive function and reduction in anger.” Landscape Architect firm Tract, led the schoolyard’s redesign and facilitated the collaboration of the Marrickville Public School community throughout the design process. “The project area has been designed to accommodate the wishes of the school to be exposed to nature based play. We have focused on natural materials and native planting whilst incorporating elements that encourage social inclusion, activity and stimulation. When constructed, this courtyard will demonstrate how design can improve the wellbeing of users!”
This includes sandstone boulders positioned in seating clusters, edible plants for the children to learn about bush tucker and gardening, a sandpit plus the inclusion of 320 plants and trees and a shade structure to reduce heat. Kerry Chambers, Marrickville Public School Principal, said, “the kids have been involved from the get go - they are the stars in their video showing why we are so in need of this upgrade, and now we’re all so excited for it to become a reality.”
The initiative could not have gone ahead without the support of; Andreasens Green, Austral Bricks, Austral Masonry, Australian Council of State Schools Organisations, Benedict Industries, Fleetwood Urban, Flemings Nurseries, Gosford Quarries, Greenline, Hills Bark Blower, Inner West Council, Landscape Solutions, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, NSW Department of Education, Sam the Paving Man, SESL, Soilbond, Street Furniture Australia, Sydney Airport, Tract Consultants and the growers of plants and trees from the Australian Nursery industry.
The playground will be officially opened October 2017.