Ollie Webb Reserve Playground is situated in the outer western suburb of Sydney, Parramamatta and was opened on Saturday 23rd February 2019. It provides access for the entire calendar year and was constructed at a cost of $1.8 Million from Parramatta City Council.
Parramatta is home to the Mighty Parramatta Eels Rugby League Football Club (home of greats such as Brett Kenny, Peter Sterling, Ray Price and one time NFL trialist Jarryd Hayne). It is a city which provides parks and playgrounds with the community in mind and is currently undergoing a construction and development renaissance, with the soon to be opened Parramatta Square set to provide over 282,000 sqm of commercial office and retail floor space in the heart of Parramatta.
Parramatta is a vibrant place for families and visitors alike, catering for the growing demands of an increasing population.
But back to Ollie Webb Reserve…..
The playground features a large variety of activities and equipment, including wide embankment slides, accessible carousel and sand pit, water play elements, and a supportive swing.
In addition to the playground, the design includes more disability parking on nearby Glebe Street, as well as accessible restrooms. This is to be commended, a playground that caters for those with additional needs and providing accessible restrooms as well for added convenience. This is what parents want to see more frequently. The Ollie Webb Reserve inclusive playground and water play park is a wonderful and accessible space for all children to enjoy – a place where the community can come together.
But what of the judges who matter most, the kids??
Our crew of misfits made our way over to Ollie Webb Reserve playground a week prior to the opening date and we spend just under 2 hours at the playground. It was a HOT day, about 35 degrees Celsius by around 11am, so by the time we got to the playground, it was already quite warm. This immediately had an impact as it limited the access to some of the equipment (actually now that I think of it, quite a large portion of the equipment) due to limited shading and increasing surface temperature on the play equipment. This is why shading is sooooooooo crucial, especially for a hot country such as Australia. We found that our Motley Crew were impacted and affected by the sun belting down on the equipment, rendering it slightly obsolete.
The playground does offer some water play and a great undercover sand area. This does offset the issue of the sun to a degree and provides some respite in the hotter weather. Even still, the shading situation could be greatly improved. Water play areas are becoming increasingly more prevalent in Australian playgrounds and are being incorporated more frequently to provide some much-needed relief during the summer months. Ollie Webb Reserve playground does prove, however, to be a fantastic park with many playground options including a variety of slides, tunnels, climbing frames, spinning facilities, trampolines and a nice urban theme. During the autumn and winter seasons, Ollie Webb Reserve will be a welcome place to take your kids for an awesome play.
All-in-all, this is a really well planned and developed playground, looking to cater for kids of varying ages and needs and also provides some much-needed respite for parents.
Take a look and share your thoughts. Do you have a playground similar to Ollie Webb Reserve located near you?