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All-abilities dragon park at Arcadia to be one-of-a-kind in Melbourne’s south east

With its book-themed street names, established schools on site and its generous green space, Arcadia has always been a community that encourages children to exercise their imaginations. But the new playground coming in 2021 is taking imaginative adventures to a whole new level.

Construction will commence on the nearly-one-hectare, $2.3 million park in Arcadia’s third neighbourhood next year and the centrepiece will be a playground featuring a massive dragon structure.

The all-abilities playground has been designed by Outlines Landscape Architecture, and will feature a custom-made dragon’s head, a climbable dragon’s body and dragon’s eggs created by the award-winning Agency of Sculpture, exclusively for Arcadia.

Satterley’s Senior Development Manager for Arcadia, Julian Hill, a qualified landscape architect, came up with the idea for the dragon. He says the project is exciting because it’s so distinctive.

“The dragon’s head will face Flanagan Avenue to ensure it is highly visible from the surrounding streetscapes. This will be a very unique playspace – something that hasn’t been done before.”

Although final designs haven’t yet been confirmed, the dragon’s head will be a major feature, towering above the playground and the park. Each element will be built to provide challenges for children of different ages and abilities. A spokesperson from Outlines said this will be a vital part of the design.

“Many families have children of various ages. It is important that there is something to occupy all kids. As the children grow up then they can explore different parts of the playground that may have seemed scary or hard when they were younger.”

Outlines says the playground has been designed with accessibility and inclusion in mind. They have deliberately designed a space where people of all abilities can play together, rather than feeling separated.

“Appealing to and providing for a range of age groups and abilities is important so that everyone can play together and kids are not left out. It is important to have a park where everyone feels included and part of the community. We also wanted to provide easy access through the space for prams, etc.

“Providing a variety of different types of play items is important to cater for different interests and ability ranges. That includes sound, touch and texture, swinging, motion carousels, puzzles and interactive items.”

The park and playground is due to be completed by the start of 2021.

We’ll bring you more information as the eggs begin to hatch and the dragon begins to rise.

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