Warrenup parents plea for a playground in their neighbourhood

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Sarah Robinson’s son Eamon, 6, at an Albany playground.
Camera IconSarah Robinson’s son Eamon, 6, at an Albany playground.

As a mother of two boys with twin boys on the way, Sarah Robinson would love to be able to walk to her local playground with her children.

It is a simple activity, but she says it is one Warrenup families cannot do because there are no public playgrounds in the neighbourhood.

Their closest alternatives are in Mckail and Milpara.

She first lived in Warrenup when she was a child, but it was not until she returned to the area as a parent that she realised just how badly a playground was needed.

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“When we first lived in Warrenup, I remember the adults around us talking about how they never developed a park,” she said.

“As a kid it would have been great to have one, but it wasn’t until my first was born that I really started to think about it.

“We are now a pretty big area with a lot of young families.”

Curious to see if any other families agreed, she recently posted on an Albany Facebook group and was flooded with dozens of messages of support.

She and other Warrenup parents are now discussing their next move to get a playground in their neighbourhood.

“Firstly, some families can’t afford play equipment, and secondly, even if you can have a slide and swing set in your backyard, that is nothing like a park trip for kids,” she said.

“It also encourages some exercise, being able to walk or ride bikes to the park, and it allows kids to be able to play with their local friends.

“It also can open up opportunities for parents to meet and connect.”

She said after all these years and she believes it is time for the City to invest in a playground.

“Going to the park for a play on the playground is something my kids and husband really enjoy doing together but after work having to drive to one can be a pain and it reduces the time at the park before dark.

“Just because our blocks are large doesn’t mean we don’t deserve a playground.”

City of Albany reserves manager Jacqui Freeman said the City had already received requests from the community and held consultation with residents, resulting in a mutually beneficial outcome.

“The City generally does not install infrastructure such as playgrounds in the ‘special residential’ zone when residential blocks are large enough to support recreational activities for children and lots are more sparsely spaced,” she said.

“The City was made aware of this request and undertook a site meeting with residents to explain the rationale for public parks in this particular area of zoning.

“Following that meeting, a gazebo, picnic table, additional seating and the installation of path connections were implemented.

“In locations that are built up with smaller blocks that limit the implementation of meaningful play areas, the City prioritises public playgrounds.”

Ms Freeman said the closest playground was Lancaster Park — 1.2km from the central public open space in Warrenup.

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