Unveiling Yarrabilba’s newest community park
Celebrating its deep connection to Country and the cultural stories of the Aboriginal People, Yarrabilba’s newest community park, Borrol Lookout, will be open for play late May.
RPS Group Principal Landscape Architect Emma Fraser takes us on a tour of the new playscape, which will support community connection, encourage children to learn about the park's cultural significance, all while embracing the natural surroundings.
“The vision for the park is to share Country with the community through retelling the Yugambeh story of Bingingerra. The design retains the existing vegetation, protects the rock face, and celebrate the view to the mountains,” she said.
“This park is located on the highest point in Yarrabilba. It sits on a rocky outcrop referred to as South Rock, and has an expansive view of the mountains to the south which are central to the story telling. A number of Indigenous artefacts have been found here”.
Jabree, the cultural heritage body for Yarrabilba, has collaborated with Lendlease and RPS Group to outline cultural stories and help incorporate the local culture within the Yarrabilba development. From this collaboration, two key stories have been explored in this park, the nearby Bora Ring and the creation of Mount Witheren – Bingingerra.
The Bora Ring story is told at the top of the rock face set within a circle of boulders within the existing vegetation. This provides a quiet reflective space and can also be used by the neighbouring school as an outdoor learning space. There is an interpretive sign that tells the story of the Bora Ring (that is located just south of Yarrabilba). It is believed that the singing and clapping from the corroboree could be heard from this vantage point. The signage links the visitor via QR code to the web site with further information.
The Mount Witheren- Bingingerra story is a connection to country story of a battle between the land animals and sea animals. The Freshwater Turtle (Bingingerra) led the land animals in this battle. The land animals won but Biningerra died from his wounds. His body formed the Bingingerra mountain (Mt Witheren) which can be seen from this park.
“The park includes a lookout mound with interpretive signage that tells the story. We also have placed reclining platform seats on the embankments to create spaces for rest and ‘taking in the view’. A cultural dial is set into the pavement that shows direction of key cultural locations across Yarrabilba, a feature shelter that’s form was inspired by the endemic eucalyptus Plunkett mallee provides shade at the lookout,” said Emma.
“A carved totem that aligns with the Bingingerra Mountain creates a landmark that can been seen from the street. The playground focuses on nature play and is set into the edge of existing vegetation. This vegetation will provide shade across the park in the afternoon. New tree plantings have been installed to increase shade during the day. The Bingingerra story is woven into the playground using carved totems and paving patterns that relate to the key animals. Story signage plinths that tell the story are placed throughout the playground.”
Along with the cultural elements, Borrol Lookout will feature a circular kickabout area providing an informal setting for play (running and ball sports). A ring path connecting all the elements can be utilised as a scooter track, as well as two handball courts that double as outdoor learning spaces, picnic tables and chairs.
“Nature play focused equipment has been incorporated throughout the park utilising timber, including swings and ‘hangout’ spaces. Other play elements include stone steppers, boulder hopping, timber hill climb, and timber stilts that take you through planted beds,” said Emma.
A local chainsaw artist has created fallen log balance beams, stepping logs, and carved totems kids of all ages will be able to enjoy accessible spinners, hill slide and basket swing.
Ready, set, play and enjoy this exciting new playscape from late May, 2023.
The park is located within The Parks residential precinct on Grampians Circuit beside South Rock State School.