Opening of the new children’s playground at the Paper Bird children’s bookshop and Moore&Moore cafe in Henry Street this Sunday February 19 from 9-11.30.
They are launching the new courtyard and joining with the rest of the Moores Building to create an open arts precinct.
Art studios will be open, including the Moores Gallery Studios Resident Artists, and free kids activities: 9am Wild Movement Perth will run a nature play session, 9.30am Story Time, 10am Inkling Art Space open workshop + Great food & coffee from Moore & Moore Cafe. See you there!
It is always good to hear that Fremantle artists are involved in major public art projects so I went to Elizabeth Quay in Perth on Friday to have a look at the water playground designed by Aboriginal artist Sandra Hill with the ceramic work done by Freo J Shed artist Jenny Dawson.
They were testing the water again when I was there at 10 am so no kids enjoying the water spouts.
The well-established Moore&Moore cafe and the one-year-old Paper Bird children’s book shop in Fremantle’s Henry Street have combined their talents to create a Nature Play area in the courtyard of the gorgeous heritage Moores building.
The courtyard of the M&MN has always been very Freo and cosy but by linking it with the courtyard of the lovely bookshop is has become even more special, so parents check it out. Nice to have a safe playground away from traffic in the old inner city.
Very good to hear also that the sales of children’s books has increased by 15 per cent in the last year. I have always been an avid reader and love it when children read instead of sitting in front of the TV, X Box or the computer.
Reading inspired me to travel, made me aware of other cultures and gave me a great escape while increasing my common knowledge. It also made me interested in languages and writing. I wrote my very first poem the day John F Kennedy was shot.
The Hilton Primary School is looking for votes to win a free design and help with their community nature playground. The vision is to provide a space for children and the community to play, learn and grow together.
Check out the link for more information: http://www.myparkrules.com.au/organisation/?id=62
This Wednesday’s Special Projects Committee meeting of the City of Fremantle is well worth attending with items such as the Cantonment Hill masterplan, the Green Plan and a Princess May Park masterplan on the agenda.
The Green Plan has in my opinion rightly identified the importance of incorporating Nature Play green spaces for children and families to enjoy, away from the standarised, and a bit boring and too safe, normal playgrounds.
The creation of Urban Forest is something many councils around Australia are implementing and Fremantle wants to be part of the trend of creating green lungs and combatting heat zones in the city.
The Green Plan also identifies that there needs to be a focus on the provision of green space within high-density areas to compensate for reduced private open space. Mayor Brad Pettitt reported recently on his blog that in some European cities 30% of new development has to be public open space.
All that is good but it is also essential to retain existing green spaces and tree canopy and not take away those and then replace them with new trees and spaces. A building at Pioneer Park for example would be contrary to what we should be doing in the Freo CBD, instead the space should be beautified with modern seating, shade structures and a children’s playground.
The Princess May Park Masterplan follows on quite well from the Green Plan with emphasis on providing good public amenity, playground, seating and light and the integration of the soon to be built Hilton Hotel bar and restaurant with terraces down to the park, and the possible use of the former Boys School and FTI building as a cafe. That would create a great community hub in the east end of the CBD where residential and commercial development is already thriving.
I recommend to attend Fremantle Council meetings as the community can have a real input and impact, and it is the closest we’ll ever get to democracy. In that context it was intriguing to get feed back from the Notre Dame University student council that “The consensus is that students are not interested in local government and never will be.” Politics and governance affects each and every one of us, so we should participate to make sure the community has a voice, even if we believe we often get ignored.
The Special Projects Committee of the City of Fremantle was interesting last night and it made me wonder how far ahead we should expect our governments to plan. It came as a surprise to me when the officers pointed out that at some stage in the future, because of rising sea water levels, the Esplanade Reserve could get flooded. Is that too far away to take into consideration now I wonder, or should we raise the level of the park? But if we raised the level water would have to go somewhere the officer warned and that might be running back toward the CBD. An interesting challenge for Freo Council.
Councillor Sullivan questioned where the events would go if moved from the Esplanade, while Councillor Pemberton asked what the healthy balance for the grass would be and how many events should be allowed to take place there and at what intervals. It is strange that this question gets only asked now and during the debate about a new Masterplan as that should have been considered a long time ago. Maybe the officers could take more leadership here and tell Council what it takes to keep grassed areas in parks healthy and how many events per year the surface can cope with.
The eventual relocation of the Carriage Cafe is still years away, if it ever happens and if the community is happy with it, but one of the reasons, that dropping limbs from the 110-year-old trees would endanger the safety of cafe patrons, made me ask the officer after the committee meeting if the trees around the playground were not of similar age. Planning officer Ian James told me they were and the City needed to keep an eye on them. It seems strange to me that the draft Masterplan does not specify that the playground, where hundreds of kids play on weekends, should be relocated to ensure the safety of the children and parents.
Interesting to note also that the proposed Masterplan considers extending the park all the way to the Shipwreck Museum. When I suggested during the Youth Plaza consultation that the carpark at the museum could be a good alternative location for the skatepark it was dismissed out of hand.
FICRA resident Chris Grisenwood rightly pointed out to me that we have now asked for years to have many of the things in the draft Masterplan and making it into an A Class Reserve is another one of them, including circulating events to other locations to put less stress on the park.
Six weeks community consultation, deep listening and common sense will hopefully make the new Masterplan a good document for the future of the Esplanade. It is the playground for all of Fremantle and beyond and an important green lung for the inner city.
I had a wander around Port Coogee by Australand this morning and was quite impressed with the quiet elegance and eye for detail of the place. It is unashamedly modern-but not sterile-and I unashamedly admit I like good modern architecture as much as I like stunning old heritage buildings.
There is already good public art, an attempt at greening the area, a nice marina, funky playground, a striking bridge and a cobblestone street.
In my humble opinion it has great potential once a community and sense of place is established with a form of ‘town centre’.
What it isn’t at all is Hillary’s, so that shows that one has to take the promises of developers with a million grains of salt, because supposedly this was going to become a huge tourist attraction just south of Fremantle, well, it won’t.
It is well worth having a look at though and a nice hotel there would not be out of place, but that would require better public transport down that corridor, ideally as light rail.
Fremantle Booyeembara Park in White Gum Valley, adjacent to the public golf course, is such a pleasant park that I wonder why not more Freo people take advantage of it. There is plenty of parking, a lovely little lake, a nice playground, grass to have a picnic on, BBQs and a large area to kick the footy or play cricket.
These people were enjoying it late last week when the weather finally broke.
Two young mothers raised an important point with me yesterday about the future of Kings Square and that is the disappearance of the Jean Hobbs playground next to the library when the new Fremantle civic building will be built.
During the community workshops and placemaking workshop with David Engwicht the importance of retaining the square as a family friendly meeting place was raised time and time again. There were suggestions for mobile furniture that could also be used as playing building blocks, soft spaces, adaptable spaces that could change in size and form to suit events, etc.
While it was not up to the Kerry Hill architects to create a new landscape design for Kings Square, they made some suggestions for the St John’s triangle as a green space. This too has been mentioned at workshops before. But it is essential that Kings Square accommodates children and mothers and maybe the City Lawn can be revisited to see if part of it could be made into a children’s playground by leveling it. I am certain the creative and adaptable Kerry Hill team can come up with something special to accommodate kids in the square.