Gawler nature play space grant success

A focus on children and play has been realised by the Town of Gawler following their recent success in a space grant.

Provided under the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Open Space Grant Program, funding will support the installation of a nature play space at Elliot Goodger Reserve in Willaston.

The family friendly initiative was identified under The Gawler Open Space, Sport and Recreation Study 2025 and Barossa, Light and Lower North Region, Open Space, Recreation and Public Realm Strategy, 2013.

Mayor Karen Redman says council is taking a strategic approach to development and activation of Gawler’s open space. 

“Willaston oval is located in one of the oldest suburbs of Gawler, and more broadly Willaston has been identified as lacking adequate amounts of open space and within that, play spaces for families to enjoy within walking distance of their homes,” she said. 

Centrally located between the main sports oval, netball courts and Australian Air Force Cadets building  –Willaston residents will be able to safely walk, ride or scooter to the play space on the existing road and footpath network.

It is also being designed as an accessible play space with path networks, decking; soft fall surfaces; shrubs, trees, mulch and ground cover. 

Included in the space is play equipment such as a slide, basket swing, see-saw and carousel as well as sensory items including tap and tilt tray; wooden logs, rocks, sandpit and a timber cubby house, plus a bike rack and seating to encourage residents to walk and ride to the play space.

According to the council, state government will commit $77,290 towards the $157,290 project.

The play space aims to:

  • Increase access to passive and active recreation opportunities for all generations
  • Create a vibrant, fun, attractive, engaging and inclusive open space area for the growing number of families in Gawler.
  • Revitalise, activate and increase public access and functionality of council open space land
  • Create a sense of place for the community.

Key outcomes of the project are:

  • A unique recreational space for all generations that supports sustainable environmental management
  • Increased social isolation and participation in community life
  • Activation and access to open space
  • Increased physical activity in the community
  • Improved physical and cultural health and well being
  • Increased community and visitor connection to the culturally and environmentally significant Gawler River environment.