Parents seek more shade

HOT PROPERTY: Parents say this popular playground at Cooinda Park in Golden Square could benefit from more shade. Picture: DARREN HOWE
HOT PROPERTY: Parents say this popular playground at Cooinda Park in Golden Square could benefit from more shade. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Parents are lending their support to a petition calling for more shade at a McKenzie St West park.

A Change.org petition is calling for for shade cloth or more foliage to cover Cooinda Park’s playground and picnic areas.

“Cooinda Park is a fantastic asset to the community, with lots of space, great play equipment, and some decent facilities, the petition said.

“However, the lack of shade is a huge concern, especially coming into a hot summer.”

The petition called on council to take advantage of government funding, some of which was intended for reducing exposure to the sun and limiting skin cancer rates.

It was started several months ago by a park user and has been circulation on social media. As of Tuesday afternoon it had attracted 491 supporters.

FUN IN THE SUN: Scarlotte Riley enjoys Cooinda Park's distinctive 14 metre long slide. Picture: DARREN HOWE

FUN IN THE SUN: Scarlotte Riley enjoys Cooinda Park's distinctive 14 metre long slide. Picture: DARREN HOWE

On a sunny Tuesday morning at the park a number of parents said they had seen the petition and were considering lending their support.

They included Kangaroo Flat’s Mick Sims, who had cycled to the park with his children.

Mr Sims said his wife had recently seen the petition and the couple had discussed lending their support that morning.

“We have a few birthdays coming up soon and it we would come here more often if it had a little more shade,” he said.

Local parents Meagan Southgate and Natalie Jones were supervising their children.

Ms Jones had seen the petition come up on her Facebook feed and was planning on finding it again so she could lend her support.

“I do think there aren’t that many trees around here,” she said.

Mrs Southgate said there was some shade, for example from tall eucalyptus trees on the Norma St side of the playground.

However, she noted trees on the southern and western sides of the playground were not big enough to provide much respite from the sun.

Mrs Southgate also suggested more coverage of the playground itself, which was in full sun for large parts of the day.

“The kids come here and play for a few hours. they may have hats and sunscreen but it would be good if (the council) think about more shade over the long-term,” she said.

City of Greater Bendigo director of presentation and assets Craig Lloyd said council was aware of community concerns and planed to install trees during the upcoming planting season. 

The council was also considering options for a permanent shade structure, though that would depend on funding in future Council budgets.

“The city always seeks external funding where it is available,” Mr Lloyd said.