In a new Southern Highlands development kids are paddling their own canoe on a “dry” creek bed formed by smooth PolySoft surface.

How do you make kids feel at home in a new housing estate? Create fun, safe playgrounds built around PolySoft surfaces, with adventure for children and comfortable seating for adults – maybe a barbecue to entice families out on the weekend?

That’s what iScape Landscape Architecture created for Renwick Village Green and Rotherwood Park playgrounds in the new development of Renwick, outside Mittagong, in the NSW Southern Highlands. iScape’s design had to satisfy both the requirements of the developer, UrbanGrowth NSW, and the local council which has a long-term interest as maintainer of the playgrounds.

The Rotherwood Park playground is adjacent to Tangara School, which caters for children with intellectual disabilities, and the fact that both parks were intended as equal-access areas dictated the use of PolySoft for its high-safety, easily navigable, smooth surface. Says Ian Jackson, landscape architect at iScape, ‘PolySoft being a ‘solid’ safety surface – as opposed to loose safety surfaces such as sand or mulch – provides the best accessibility for people with limited mobility, or using wheelchairs, to get around the playground.

“Council was also after a low-maintenance surface,” he continues. “PolySoft is virtually maintenance free, unlike loose safety surfaces need cleaning and topping up over time.”

Jackson appreciated being able to use the wide range of PolySoft’s hues to achieve the requirement for “a natural feel, in keeping with the rural surroundings of the estate”, he says. “Using the colour-mix tool on PolySoft’s website, we created very natural-looking combinations.” These complement playground features such as dry creek beds, extensive plantings of trees, shrubs and groundcovers, and timber features such as a carved canoe – “which is proving to be a popular play item”, notes Jackson.

While kids grow strong clambering and swinging, adults can take advantage of exercise equipment firmly anchored in PolySoft at the Renwick Village Green.

Safety, durability, chameleon colours and virtually no maintenance requirements made PolySoft the base of choice for Renwick’s new playgrounds.

Jackson reports that, “The playgrounds are popular with children of all ages.” He says, “By creating interesting play spaces with a variety of different activities, the developer and council have provided a place where kids can enjoy playing near their new home. Both parks have activities that kids can play on together, which helps them in forming friendships.” Parents, carers and grandparents are also enjoying the playgrounds, their even surfaces, and the opportunity they offer to nurture a local community.

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