Treasure Rd Park – Delivering For Older Children And Teenagers

Published on Monday, 1 May 2023 at 12:00:00 AM

The new play gear at the Treasure Rd Park, currently being completed after community feedback last year on what kids and parents wanted in the space, has prompted a lot of community comment. We would love to set some misconceptions straight! 

This space is largely used by older children on the way to the high school, and was being vandalised constantly. Some time ago a Shire officer had an opportunity to speak with teenagers who were vandalising the equipment, and asked them why they were damaging the park. Their response was that “the park is boring”.

With this in mind, Shire Parks & Reserves staff determined to offer a more challenging experience for older children and teenagers with the design of the park upgrade. 

Concept designs were put out to residents who live by this park in June 2022, with feedback including requests such as ‘Some more play equipment for the teenagers would be nice, since it’s so close to the high school’ and ‘Nature/Risk Play’.  

With this feedback, two main goals were considered in the design process for the new Treasure Road Playground: 

To create a challenging play experience unique to Esperance and focusing on upper body strength, and

To create a space where older children and teenagers can ‘hang out’ 

The main constraints in the design process were budget, and fitting the new playground into the pre-existing space. 

Shire staff dealt with unavoidable delivery delays during the construction of the park, and so were excited to have the first stage of the park equipment available for Easter. A Shire social media post went out to the community to spread the word, with the concluding line “P.S. there will be some finishing touches done after Easter.” These finishing touches include: 

Installation of a shelter over seating, to go on the concrete slab

Another play item for smaller children

Since the new equipment has been available, comment from people whose children actually use the park has included reflection from a parent that they have been impressed with their children’s enjoyment of and safety awareness on the equipment, despite initial misgivings, and another person’s observation that they’ve never seen the park being used as much before. 

Many kids use the park on the way to and from the high school, making Treasure Road Park a natural for design aimed at an older age range. The nearby playground at Eagle Court, Dempster Heights has been designed with younger children in mind.

The cost of developing and installing the new play gear was a budget of approximately $130,000 - this includes the rock bouldering wall, rock and slide, swing, soft fall, seating and yet to be finished shelter and the play item for younger kids. 

The rumoured $800,000 figure popping up on social media is untrue! To put this into perspective, Adventureland Park playground on the foreshore, includes a large custom-built ship and climbing elements, flying fox, giant swing, and upgrades to the small kid’s playground, cost approximately $500,000, half of which was funded by grants.

For maintenance and upgrading of parks across our local government area, the Shire is guided by the Playgrounds and Public Open Space Strategy, developed after extensive public consultation in 2014. 

Through the Playgrounds and Public Open Space Strategy, public open spaces are classified in four categories:

Regional open space (Premier open space accessible primarily by vehicle by the wider community. However, residents living in close proximity may access by cycling or walking.)

District open space (Principally designed to provide areas for organised sports. Access will primarily be by vehicle and utilised by the wider community, residents living in close proximity may access by cycling or walking.)

Neighbourhood open space (Neighbourhood parks with access for residents preferably within 800m or a 10 minute walk and no less than 1ha is size.)

Local open space (Small parcels of open space which are not developed as official play spaces and service only residents within the immediate vicinity.) 

We recommend having a look at the Playgrounds and Public Open Space Strategic Plan to find out all about what is planned for your favourite park, available on the Shire website here.

The Shire is keen to hear any feedback or comments you might have, please email or call (08) 9071 0666. 

You may also wish to give feedback to your elected Councillors; contact details for all Shire of Esperance Councillors may be found on the Shire website here.

1 May 2023

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