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Kids take charge of new play area in Cannons Creek

Bedford Reserve

Ground has broken on the major upgrade for Bedford Reserve in Cannons Creek.

Work has begun on a bare reserve in Porirua’s east that will be transformed into a play area for young people and their whānau.

The space, Bedford Reserve, is a patch of ground between Cannons Creek swimming pool and the Whanau Centre. Ground was broken this week and construction is expected to take about six weeks.

A project developed by Porirua City Council in partnership with Partners Porirua, it involved input on different levels from school children from Windley and Cannons Creek schools – from the design aspects to the construction of seats by Porirua College students.

The new recreational area will include a flying fox, barbecue area, drinking fountain, picnic tables and benches, performance stage, swings and a DJ post.

One area with seats will be in the shape of author Patricia Grace’s famous tuna (eel), from her well-known story set in Porirua East - Watercress Tuna and the Children of Champion Street.

Partners Porirua’s Educational Partnerships Facilitator Rachel Scott said it was fantastic to see the kids’ ideas become a reality.

The children visited playgrounds and parks around the region to get ideas about what they did and didn’t want, talked to their families and peers about concept ideas, and explored ideas with landscape architects.

“In the meetings we had with them, they told us it was important to have a place for their family to hang out, enjoy, and that was safe,” she says.

“This is a central spot, close to kids’ homes and, step by step, the ideas came together.

“It’s very satisfying to see the work start, after such a robust and cohesive process.”

Giving children and young people a say in how their city looks and feel is important, said Porirua City’s Manager City Partnerships, Robyn Steel.

“This is an example of how young people’s fantastic and innovative ideas about what they want to see in their parks and playgrounds in Porirua can come to life,” she says.

“This has been a collaboration from the start and they will go away having learned more about the process, planning and consultation, and ultimately be the end users.”

31 Jan 2019