RioTinto Naturescape Kings Park uniquely and positively contributes to a local and regional sense of place. It also supports Kings Park and Botanic Garden’s vision for a community that is environmentally sustainable into the future. Many urban children miss out on the wonder of exploring and playing in nature. Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is a unique place to learn through adventure and unstructured play. The space helps children to understand the sensitive Western Australian ecosystems, the importance of bushland and natural resources, all while benefiting from physical activity. It is devoted to connecting children with nature and learning about the Western Australian environment, local Aboriginal culture and the natural sciences. Covering six hectares and surrounded by natural bushland, the facility includes popular elements including a running creek with rocky banks, log bridges, climbing ropes, tree hides, a cubby building zone, bridges and meandering paths. Two thirds of the precinct is open to the general public and one third is a dedicated Education zone. Each section offers a unique experience, designed to appeal to children of different ages, personalities and abilities. Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is currently closed for the construction of a Stage 2 development. From 2018, visitors can expect the gates to re-open with a new rock pool and a larger creek to paddle in, a 7-metre high 'sky scramble' aerial walkway, a rocky scarp to scramble over, more climbing ropes and nets and a new cubby-building zone. New outdoor teaching facilities will also be added to keep up with demand from schools for education programs.
Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is a place for children to connect with nature and learn to appreciate the Western Australian environment. The space provides children with a real ‘bush’ experience in the middle of the city, an experience not common for children in urban environments. Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park comprises 60,000 m2 of native bushland and trails located within Kings Park’s 400ha. It is a short walk from the main visitor hub of Kings Park, comprising cafes, the Visitor Information Centre and Aspects of Kings Park gallery shop, as well as the Western Australian Botanic Garden.
Rio Tinto Naturescape provides a new experience for young children who, unlike their parents, are growing up indoors surrounded by technology, rather than outdoors. It supports the development of children’s motor skills, senses, emotion, intellect, personal growth and social skills.
The design of the Rio Tinto Naturescape is deliberately different from the structured play areas usually found in local parks. The space is natural with children being able to play in mud, climb on logs, build cubbies and paddle in water. A wheelchair accessible trail links different areas exposing children to a number of different environments. Trained volunteers and BGPA Nature Activities Officers assist children and parents to get the most out of the unique natural experience.
- Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority
- Friends of Kings Park
- Plan E Landscape Design
- Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is providing funding of $8.65 million during its 12-year partnership. Lotterywest and the Water Corporation provided $3 million and $1 million respectively, along with additional support from the federal government’s past Solar Cities program.
In addition to supporting a local and regional sense of place that is uniquely Western Australian and awareness of the need for biodiversity conservation, the project and work of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority at Kings Park has a number of other health, economic, environmental, social and recreational benefits.