Bowen Crescent Playground Completed
Bowen Crescent Playground in Ōpunakē was due for an upgrade last year but Lisa Beynon, Chair of the Ōpunakē Community Spaces Development Group (OCSD group) had a vision of what she thought her community would like and with Council permission was given the opportunity to make the vision a reality. Through sheer determination and plenty of community donations, sponsorship, and involvement, OCSD raised a whopping $63,858. With South Taranaki District Council’s $50,000 contribution and a $3,035 grant from the Taranaki Coastal Community Board they were able to have a playground they felt suited the district.
“The Ōpunakē community have many generations with fond memories of the unique mountain playground at Bowen Crescent,” says Lisa.
Removal of the existing playground was completed on 1 March 2022 and redevelopment began soon after. The project was expected to take 4-6 weeks but Omicron and the restrictions it placed on the businesses involved meant the job took longer than expected. The playground was officially opened last weekend after local kaumatua had blessed the area earlier in the week, with the mayor, local councillors, members of the OCSD group, council staff and tamariki from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Tamarongo in attendance.
South Taranaki Mayor, Phil Nixon says the project is another great example of what more can be achieved when Council and community work in partnership.
Chair of the Coastal Community Board, Andy Whitehead says he is looking forward to seeing the playground be enjoyed by members of the community young and old.