Playtime at Bungendore

THE young children of Bungendore Pre-School are enjoying a newly renovated playground and they have their local community to thank for it.

Without the support and generosity of the local community, the playground project would've been close to an impossibility for the not-for-proft organisation.

President of the Bungendore Pre-School management committee Trina Cleary estimated about 50 per cent of the $60,000 project was financed through fundraising.The remaining amount was funded by donations from the Braidwood and Bungendore Bank, Rotary Club of Bungendore and a generous $23,000 contribution from the Veolia Mulwaree Trust.

"We applied for grants and the pre-school fundraised for about four to five years specifically for the project. We contributed about half the cost of the project ... as we are a small community this was a huge effort," she said.

"It was meat trays at the pub, Bunnings [Warehouse] stalls, mother's day raffles and a lot of other fundraising."

Ms Cleary said the committee's main purpose was to update the playground as it had been virtually untouched for more than 20 years and to ensure it complied with Australian standards and kidsafe laws. 

They also wanted to take advantage of a lot of under-utilised space in the play area which was previoulsy cordoned off from the children because of safety concerns.

"The playground was quite aged, we had a lot of hazards as a result of the old playground and slope of the land," Ms Cleary said.

"There were many management and safety issues with drainage, wash-out, old equipment, trip hazards and finger entrapment hazards."

The new playground, designed by Jenni Curtis from Bungendore's Fresh Landscape Design, has been reshaped and landscaped.

Old equipment has been moved to more appropriate areas and there are additions like a swing, flying fox, single and double slides and garden beds to complement the existing sandpit, fire house and other play equipment.

The work was partially completed by contracted workers as well as local volunteers."We couldn't pay a professional to oversee the whole project, if it wasn't for the community this wouldn't have happened," Ms Cleary said. 

Currently, 109 local children attend the pre-school weekly and have been enjoying their new play area.

"The reward is completely intrinsic, just sitting and watching the kids play and seeing their little bodies hurtling around, exploring the new space," Ms Cleary said.

"We owe a huge gratitude to the community and to all those families who no longer have children in the preschool for all their support."

- The Bungendore Pre-school will celebrate the official opening of their playground redevelopment on November 10 from 10am to 1pm. The day will include Questacon Science Alive, fire engine visit, face painting, chalk art mural, art and craft activities, art show, a seedling display, sausage sizzle, scones and refreshments will be available during the day. All welcome.

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