Safety makeover for playground
A Cannons Creek playground which resembles a crime scene and hosts drunks, taggers and fist fights by night, is to get a safety-conscious makeover.
Calliope Park on Warspite Ave will get two new playgrounds and better lighting and landscaping this year as part of Cannons Creek’s village plan, with $100,000 of funding from Porirua City Council.
The park’s overhaul comes after a survey of park users highlighted anti-social behaviour and violence.
‘‘It opened my eyes to what the park is like for residents. There’s a real concern when it gets dark. The place has a feeling of being unsafe,’’ Cannons Creek Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association vice chairman Jon Blackshaw says. ‘‘It stopped the community feeling like they had ownership of the place.’’
Two new playgrounds will be built in the park for different age groups, modelled on successful playgrounds at Aotea Lagoon and Waitangirua.
The playgrounds will be built on the edge of the park nearest to Warspite Ave and will be well-lit.
‘‘People will be able to see it from the street. It’s going to make a big difference,’’ Mr Blackshaw says.
The existing playground is tucked into a corner and looks menacing on misty nights with its single light overhead, he says.
‘‘It looks like a crime scene from a movie.’’
Other improvements include better drainage, a circuit path around the park’s borders, and encouraging sports by levelling out the park’s grass surface, which Mr Blackshaw describes as a ‘‘bumpy bowl’’ shape at present.
The park’s bushes were removed last year after reports of teenagers sleeping in the park at night, Mr Blackshaw says.
Problems with Cannons Creek youth will not simply disappear once the park is cleaned up and the community needs to discuss other ways of helping troubled teens, Mr Blackshaw says.
‘‘Youth are like guided missiles. They need to have direction.’’