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"North Shore's newest place to play"

"North Shore's newest place to play"

September 13, 2004

It's got to be one of the best spots on the North Shore, and whether you're a pre-schooler or young teenager, it's the place to be.

The innovative playground on the beach front reserve at the north end of Browns Bay was officially opened by Mayor George Wood yesterday, Sunday, September 12.

Young people swarmed over the deck of the boat at the heart of the playground, which was designed specially to fit in with its seaside location.

North Shore City Council community services and parks committee chairperson, Margaret Miles, says the concept is unique.

"We've moved away from a modular design with this playground, which means it is more appealing, has much more exciting equipment, and caters for a range of ages," she says.

"It's not just a playground, but somewhere that people from all over the city come to."

The Browns Bay development is the result of close to three years work, and a $300,000 investment by the council's parks department.

In keeping with the theme, the boat includes an upper deck, an engine room, and real winches and grinders. Age-specific activities and play equipment such as a spinning `supernova' and `pentagon swing' have also been included.

Young people yesterday also enjoyed Cookie the Clown, face painting, balloon art, music, a free sausage sizzle and prizes for the best-dressed pirates.

North Shore City Council's acting parks operations manager, Tina Dyer, says it is the integration of the playground, and its links to the nearby skate bowl that are the key.

"It's not just about putting equipment in to keep kids active. No matter the age, they all have their own space here, but we've also made it easy for them to interact with each other if they want to," she says.

Seating and landscaping also make an attractive setting for parents to have a break while keeping an eye on their charges.

Links from the playground to the nearby skate bowl, which was also opened yesterday as part of the overall project, has made the Browns Bay beachfront a destination for children and young people alike.

Dubbed the BBZ - Browns Bay Zoo - the skate bowl, which has been resurfaced and now includes street skating equipment such as rails and stairs, is proving equally popular with skaters and others who just want to hang out and watch.

The Globe pro skaters and Irrom skate team gave it the seal of approval during demonstrations to the sounds of The Edge and DJ Logikal at the opening yesterday. There were also prizes and giveaways and a best trick competition.

ENDS

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