PROGRESS is being made for the development of new inclusive play equipment for Banjo Paterson Park Jindabyne following a recent meeting with project organisers, council and local families.
The meeting was held last Friday and Saturday to give locals the opportunity to help design the new play space which is set to start construction in 2015.
Mother of two and community driver of the project, Louise Williams, was motivated to do something about her local park when she noticed rust and lifting surfaces on the existing play equipment.
"What inspired me was the state of the current play park. As a big sister I used to take my younger sister to the park, then my niece and now my own children and in that time the park hasn't changed," Ms Williams said.
"Then I saw the playgrounds by the Touched by Olivia Foundation and knew we had to go one step further and make it inclusive for all children."
The Touched by Olivia Foundation works with communities to create places that are inclusive of all people regardless of their differences or disabilities.
The Foundation's first inclusive play space was opened at Timbrell Park, NSW in 2009 and as a result of it's success, a number of additional play spaces are currently in development around Australia.
Local students from Jindabyne Central School and Snowy Mountains Grammar School participated in workshops where they were asked to come up with designs for the new playground, keeping in mind its inclusive objective.
"We were blown away by how the kids evolved it, their ideas were just so creative and inspiring," Ms Williams said.
"In our region we don't have a lot of children with physical disabilities passing us in the street and so children aren't reminded on a daily basis that there are other children that can't run and play like they do. For these students to understand the importance of this project is a big deal."
Over the next few weeks, playground designer Ben Richards will be completing the concept design for the park with hopes of the final draft being complete by early October.
"I love the site and feel that a great amount of thought and respect needs to be put to the designs to reflect the beauty of the lake and the community," Mr Richards said.
For more information and to stay updated on the progress of Banjo Paterson Park visit www.facebook.com/jindabyneplayground.