Hidden away inside another housing estate, the City of Casey has delivered yet another fantastic park… Livvi’s Place. If you haven’t heard of a Livvi’s Place play space before, they are actually sort of a “chain” for lack of a better word. All of the many Livvi’s Places around Australia have been built in association with the Touched by Olivia Foundation. Here’s a bit from their website that explains the concept:
Many playspaces in Australia do not meet the needs of their community. Physical disabilities, coupled with childhood disorders, and the ever- changing demographic of stay at home carers, means that every detail needs to be considered for a space to be truly inclusive. It’s not about installing a liberty swing and a few ramps up to a slippery slide. It means designing and creating custom made, accessible and intergenerational play equipment and amenities, incorporating accessible pathways, passive areas, sensory and tactile play and artworks, graduated challenges, points of recognition and visual cues, fencing, accessible parking and bus drop off zones.
Sounds great, right? Find your local Livvi’s Place here. If, however, your local one is in Casey then read on.
I love this playground! You might have read the above and thought this playground is ONLY for kids with special needs…but that is incorrect. In fact, just wandering through you probably wouldn’t even realise how much community consideration has gone into the design, it just appears like a fantastic, fenced playground. That’s right, fenced the whole way around, woo hoo!
Let’s talk about the good stuff.
Did you notice the photo at the top of the page? Look at all that shade!! It’s quite rare to find a playground with such good coverage, and it really is so helpful on a hot, sunny day.
The Flying Fox.
Catering for two children at the time, the flying fox is super social, easy to use, and fun. Obviously I had to test it out, and it’s probably not overly designed for adults as I was almost dragging on the ground. But your kids will love it.
Bigger, more supportive swings.
Both for the flying fox and within the regular swing set are the more supportive swings. These high back swings are designed for children with special needs, but of course could be enjoyed by any child. I always used them for Missy Moo if another child doesn’t require them…so much safer!
Inclusive playground equipment which also equals toddler friendly!
When lots of elements of a playground are built on or low to the ground, obviously this helps to be more inclusive for children with physicals disabilities. The added benefit is that these places are very safe for small toddlers to play too. Check out this spinning thing for example, no one is falling off, but it was still super fun to play on.
Don’t think that everything is on the ground though, there are plenty of climbing opportunities for able bodied children too. Many rock climbing walls, steep inclines, rocks to scramble, ropes to climb and a fireman’s pole.
See all that sand? There is plenty more of it. Missy Moo particularly enjoyed the attached scoop (there’s two thank goodness…less I-don’t-want-to-share tantrums) and played happily for quite some time.
Other great stuff….
- Undercover picnic tables
- Free parking
- Lots of grassed areas (also fenced) for ball games etc.
So it all sounds pretty great, right? Well almost.
Areas for improvement.
On the day I visited there were rats, lots of rats. Now I’m someone who is petrified of all things rodent, I just can’t cope. Whilst at Livvi’s Place we spotted one, then another, then another. It was as if once you noticed them you they couldn’t be unseen. I would estimate we were spotting one rat every 30-60 seconds, arghh! Now they weren’t crawling on tables, or the playground itself, but they were on the paths, and throughout the bushes. We ate our food sitting atop the picnic table so my legs weren’t dangling on the ground. Seriously, I just can’t deal with them at all.
After we visited I mentioned this on facebook and also contacted the council. Interestingly many other people commented that they too had seen rats there, and some reported ended their play early because they were so bad. The council told me over the phone that they would investigate, and I heard they were at the park at 7am the next day looking into it. Another Anyday Adventure follower sent the City of Casey a Facebook message about the rat problem and here was their response.
I don’t believe you need to avoid the park, but if you have a bit of a rodent phobia best to be prepared so you can make up your own mind about attending. I will keep you updated if I hear any more information from the council.
So…..overall it’s a great park. Lose the rats and I would happily give it a 10/10. However, I can honestly say I will likely never return…like I said, I just don’t do rats! But if it doesn’t bother you, you will have a great adventure!
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