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Ice cream and smiles heralded the official opening of Grafton's Jacaranda Park on Thursday in a ceremony attended by Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis and Clarence Valley Council Mayor Cr Jim Simmons.
Although the park has been enjoyed by many since its ‘unofficial’ opening on Christmas Eve, the event on Thursday was about celebrating the official completion of the project.
The upgrade to the park is proving to be very popular with the locals and visitors alike. The features include the Phoenix - a galleon ship named by the community, the Rainforest Tower and the Wheelspin.
Passers-by cannot fail to notice the Phoenix; a large three-masted sailing ship 20m from bow to stern and over 8m at its highest point. The wide ramp access makes it fully accessible. Peep holes, tunnels, slides and puzzles surrounded by sand make it popular with younger children and it’s the first of its kind installed anywhere in the southern hemisphere.
Clarence Valley Council Mayor Cr. Jim Simmons said, “If you’ve got kids that love to climb and slide, the Rainforest Tower is definitely a winner. The centrepiece is a climbing tower surrounded slides, climbing bars and peep holes that children will love”.
The ‘Wheelspin’ provides all children the liberating experience of dynamic movement. It allows for all children to play side by side. Not only does the ‘Wheelspin’ accommodate wheelchairs, it allows several children the opportunity to spin together.
Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis said the playground is a terrific collaboration between the NSW Government and Council working well together for the benefit of locals, especially young locals.
“Jacaranda means everything to Grafton, and these fabulous new facilities at Jacaranda Park will allow new generations to enjoy it even more for many years to come,” Mr Gulaptis said.
“It’s a regional park with high quality playground equipment that is accessible and inclusive of people of all abilities, and I congratulate everyone involved in bringing it to fruition.”
The Jacaranda Park upgrade is funded by $500,000 from NSW Government under the Stronger Country Communities Fund with a further $760,000 funded from Clarence Valley Council.
Image: Chris Gulaptis and Aunty Linda cut the ribbon for the official opening of Jacaranda Park