Scribbly Gum Playground

Design Feature
Type of Project

The Scribbly Gum Park and playground at Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast was designed in 2015 by Anembo Landscape Architects, with Playscape Creations providing key design input and initiatives for the playground component of the project. The Scribbly Gum Park is designed to provide a series of different spaces that encourage thoughtful play and inter-generational interaction. The public open space provides a variety of sensory experiences, including movement (vestibular system), climbing (proprioceptive system) and a mix of tactile, visual and auditory experiences, giving each child play challenges to meet their needs.

An inclusive and innovative playspace

The client brief was to develop a ‘Neighborhood Destination Park’ with unique, high quality embellishments and design merit for the local community.  Extensive research into ‘disability needs’ and education of community leaders into the appropriate level and breadth of disability needs was conducted which led to a design response that featured a layering of activity intensity. The playground includes six zones of play; the Swing zone, the Cozy Dome zone, the Smart Play® zone, two ground level play zones, and the Netplex® zone. Each of these zones offers a different type of play experience and can promote activity and social inclusion in children, which is crucial in developing overall wellbeing.

Scribbly Gum Playground encourages active living
Scribbly Gum Playground encourages active living

Inter-generational interaction is encouraged by providing multiple shady informal and formal seating areas around the playground, signage information to share, and a park website that encourages discussions around aspects of the park.  People with disability are catered for with generous path widths, accessible slopes and intersections, and signage announcing to all users the values of the park for people with a wide range of disability.

Scribbly Gum playground is an inclusive space for people of all abilities
Scribbly Gum playground is an inclusive space for people of all abilities

The facility includes shady gardens and intimate hollows with stands to trees, providing quiet contemplative spaces next to existing homes.  The park additionally features the open ‘field of dreams’ for structured and unstructured active play. Furthermore, key facilities such as playgrounds, shelters, bike racks, barbeques, and bubblers have been integrated into the design to allow for a destination that meets the physical, recreational and social needs of the community.

Scribbly Gum playground is a mixed-use facility
Scribbly Gum playground is a mixed-use facility

The project brief was to provide an exciting destination park that could compete with other recently established parks in the region.  Research identified that ‘all abilities’ was not well catered for and there was no ‘senses’ park in particular. Therefore, the concept was developed to provide a park with these unique aspects. The concept was initially taken to the Pelican Waters Development for approval before being passed to Sunshine Coast Council where the design was approved for construction.

Scribbly Gum playground offers the community an interactive public open space
Scribbly Gum playground offers the community an interactive public open space

The approval documentation was developed into construction packages and supply tenders. Civil construction documentation was reviewed for conflicts and opportunities including existing sewer and storm water that reduced the areas available for installation of structures.  Further design development refinements were undertaken as budgets were finalised and supply contracts were let for bespoke furniture, the Playscape Creations equipment, plants and other landscape elements. The parks work officially started in December 2014, was completed in November 2015 and handed over to council in November 2016. 

Project Team 

  • Anembo Landscape Architects
  • Playscape Creations’
  • Pelican Waters Construction
  • Sunshine Coast Council (SCC)
  • 3rd party peer review by an occupational therapist specialising in play therapy.

Project Cost 

Approximately $950,000

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