Revolution on the cheap

A LOW-COST, creative solution to a lack of play areas for older kids is taking off across Vincent as a “Pop up Play” revolution.

There’s plenty of slides and swings around town for younger kids, but there’s a gap for older children and Vincent council’s PUP aims to provide low-cost creative stuff for them to do.

There’s no sterile plastic play equipment and there could be some splinters or grazed knees, but the projects are aimed at getting the kids to use their initiative and judgement.

The first PUP project came about at Woodville Reserve when kids were spotted building forts and cubbies out of found treasures and leftover materials from the North Perth Community Garden.

• Mayor Emma Cole and the creative kids at Woodville Reserve.

Mayor Emma Cole and city staff met up with the kids in April and liked the cut of their jib, deciding to support what they’d started by providing logs and pallets so they could keep at it.

The next project’s been the new bicycle pump track at the northern end of Britannia Reserve. It has an opening day sausage sizzle and demonstration on Sunday July 7 at noon, but even before it was finished kids were down there every day trying out the track.

The idea came about from the council’s community budget submission process, where four people suggested a bike trail over the past two years.

Ten-year-old Felix Cooley was one of them, who said “a track at Britannia would be great, because we can ride here rather than having to be driven.

• The Britannia bike track was popular before it was even finished.

“I put the submission in because there isn’t much for us to do, apart from the Leederville Skate Park. There is stuff for older teenagers through Leederville HQ, and playgrounds for little kids, but nothing for people my age.”

Ms Cole said it was already popular when half-finished.

“Kids, dads, mums are out there riding it and building jumps with logs that Main Roads have given us for free, and it’s fantastic to see that the community’s really embracing that and have been really excited by it,” Ms Cole said.

City staff will be around for the bike track opening Sunday to chat about pop up play and get other ideas from the community, and are taking online suggestions at imagine.vincent.wa.gov.au/pop-up-play

by DAVID BELL

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