All Aboard! Railway Heritage inspired playground open for play

Published on Monday, 15 January 2024 at 4:12:37 PM

Young people and their families will be yelling ‘choo choo’ this summer as a new railway inspired playground at Lake Leschenaultia in Chidlow is now open for play.

The playground which is situated on the east side of the lake, was inspired by the lakes history as a railway reservoir to supply water for the steam locomotives stopping on the Eastern Railway at Chidlow's Well Station.

Designed and constructed by Nature Play Solutions, the playground boasts stylised railway elements such as a steam engine, carriages, train tunnel and a station platform.

A range of natural elements, shade trees, native plants and mulch soft fall were also used to complete the area.

Shire President Paige McNeil said the playground is the last component of the $436,500 Visitor Improvement Program for the lake.

“The Visitor Improvement Project incorporates the creation of a swimming only area, vehicle counter, automated exit gate, electrical upgrades, and replacement shelter at the main beach,” she said.

“We are very thankful to the Federal Government for their generous contribution for this project,” she said.

“This is a fantastic addition which brings the history of the heritage railway to life for our younger community members. It’s great to see so many families already enjoying the new playground this summer.”

While the new playground has been relocated closer to the camp grounds, outside the park office, the location of the old playground has been converted to an accessible 160m2 covered outdoor area suitable for sheltering from the sun in summer or the rain in winter and has proved to be very popular already.

This project was funded equally by the Shire and the Federal Government’s Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources through Round 5 of the Building Better Regions Fund.

The project also compliments further upgrades at the lake including the installation of the new shade shelter overlooking the beach area with two vibrant information boards featuring artwork by local artist Brenton See, development of a swimming only area, a vehicle counter system, an automated exit gate and a solar PV installation.

The project adds to other capital projects completed at the lake in the past two years including a new toilet block built on the west side of the lake, major refurbishment of the main campground ablutions and 130m post and rail safety fence along the dam wall.

Visitors to the lake are encouraged to check the Fire Danger Ratings for Swan Inland North before visiting the lake via the BOM website or the Lake Leschenaultia Facebook page, as the lake may be closed on some Extreme Fire Danger Rating days due to local conditions.

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