School to build innovative new eco-playground
Birkdale Primary School is calling for support to construct a new eco-friendly playground.
The school was forced to close off its old playground last year, after new health and safety regulations deemed the structure was no longer compliant.
Since then, the playground has been boarded up and the children have been forced to play in other areas of the school.
Now, the school is working with the Kaipatiki Local Board and children’s entertainer Suzy Cato to replace the old with the new.
The group is designing an ecofriendly playground, the first of its kind in the area, with movable pieces made from recycled and sustainable materials.
Principal Adrienne Mawer said the design was perfect for the school’s environmentally keen students.
‘‘Our kids are very hands on, they’re outdoor kids’’ she said.
The students are giving feedback on what equipment they would like to use on the new playground. Recycled materials from the existing structure will be part of the new build.
Birkdale is currently a silverrated enrivoschool. Mawer is hoping the new playground plan will help upgrade the school’s status to GreenGold, the highest rating given.
‘‘We have to show that we’re sustainable, the children are learning about sustainability and how important that is in our local and world environment,’’ Mawer said.
The estimated cost for the ecoplayground design is somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000.
The school is now going out to the community to help finance it.
Parent Kat Tobin, a member of the Friends of the School group, has been driving the fundraising effort.
She was excited about the unique possibilities of the ecoplayground and how the children would interact with it.
‘‘Our kids are very hands on, they're outdoor kids’’ Adrienne Mawer
‘‘The kids can move and construct with the different pieces,’’ she said.
‘‘They’ll just use their imagination and turn it into different things each day,’’ she said.
The local community is encouraged to use the playground after school and on the weekends, further driving the urgency of the rebuild.
‘‘The kids need it. We need the playground back again and, more than anything, the community needs it back again,’’ Mawer said.
Kat Tobin and Adrienne Mawer on the Birkdale Primary School playground which was closed off to students last year after new health and safety rules came in.