Nature Adventure Play

Lower Beechmont Syd Duncan Park Adventure Play


We are very happy to collaborate in the building of the first Nature Adventure Play Playground in the Gold Coast!

What is Nature Adventure Play?
It’s main objective is to increase the time children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature.

Well, the obvious answer is that they are really fun and kids love them. They can get dirty, create, climb, splash and burn off steam.

While that may be good enough for some, others in your community or organisation may be looking for more concrete evidence of their value before committing to the concept.

Fortunately, researchers at the University of Western Australia, have found that natural playgrounds provide children with more opportunities than typical pre-formed playgrounds to develop gross-motor skills. In their literature summary of what makes a good play area, they noted that contact with nature has been associated with a number of health benefits for children, such as improved cognitive function, increased creativity, improved interaction with adults, reduced attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms and reduced rates of aggression.

In addition, the report ‘Children’s contact with the outdoors and nature: a focus on educators and educational settings’ prepared by the Children & Nature Network, synthesises research and studies that focus on the impact of nature education and educational settings.

Summary of key benefits

  • Children who play regularly in natural settings are sick less often. Mud, sand, water, leaves, sticks, pine cones and gum nuts can help to stimulate children’s immune system as well as their imagination.
  • Children who spend more time outside tend to be more physically active and less likely to be overweight.
  • Children who play in natural settings are more resistant to stress; have lower incidence of behavioural disorders, anxiety and depression; and have a higher measure of self-worth.
  • Children who play in natural settings play in more diverse, imaginative and creative ways and show improved language and collaboration skills. Single use, repetitive play equipment becomes boring quickly.
  • Natural, irregular and challenging spaces help kids learn to recognise, assess and negotiate risk and build confidence and competence.
  • Children who play in nature have more positive feelings about each other.
    Bullying behaviour is greatly reduced where children have access to diverse nature-based play environments.
  • Symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder are reduced after contact with nature.

See more at:

Lower Beechmont Syd Duncan Park Adventure Play

Residents of Lower Beechmont, QLD, are in a journey toward energising their local park: Syd Duncan Park, Outlook Ave.
The Syd Duncan Park is located on Outlook avenue at Lower Beechmont. The closest
playgrounds to this park are Faust Family Park approximately 9km away and Kamholtz
park 14km away.

Syd Duncan Park is the only playground in Lower Beechmont.
At present there is some static playground equipment, an amenities block and a shaded picnic table.
It is the main area that local families and individuals come together to spend time, play,
celebrate and relax. The land boasts peace and tranquility with spectacular views and
Syd Duncan Park is currently a much beloved space for all range of residents, however,
there is great need for an increase in relevant amenities as captured by this project so far.

The Lower Beechmont Park Project began in September 2014 with community letterbox
drops, door knocks and meetings. After a community ideas meeting a survey was
generated. Of the 400+ households reached, 77 households completed the survey with
their selected priorities to ‘activate’ the park.

In April 2015 the committee met with Councillor Tozer to present a broad proposal and
begin to develop our relationship with Council.
Cr Tozer encouraged the residents to come up with our most creative and ideal submission, hence we have pitched high. Here in we offer our dreams and information.

We are seeking insight and very open to feedback from all members of Council, especially
parks and youth specialists and the Asset Custodian of Syd Duncan Park.

Check this beautiful community driven project, with the support of the Gold Coast City Council, located in Syd Duncan Park, Lower Beechmont, QLD.


Foreseen benefits
– Improved community cohesion and resilience for all ages
– Intergenerational connections and access to services for all ages and abilities
– Healthy play and active ‘hang out’ space (eg. half court and seating) and gathering
space for community (eg. gathering circle, picnic area)
– Environmental connection and stewardship
– Opportunities for contribution of skills and time toward a community shared project
– More than 25 per cent of the Lower Beechmont population are children who require
space close to their homes to safely gather and relate

Physical/health benefits
– mind and body coordination
– muscle strength
– proprioception (awareness of where your body is in space)
– risk taking within individual’s comfortable limits
– confidence and skill building
– outdoor activity
– relationship building through interactive play

Environmental benefits
– Dramatic increase in plants, particularly suited to attracting wildlife
– Safe habitat for variety of wildlife
– Increased care for the park and environmental ethic
– Engagement of larger volunteer numbers in environmental care activities

How PuraVida got involved?

With our experience in landscape building, we helped in taking the ideas and plans to the ground, and design the small stage area and retaining wall that is going to be used as seats overlooking the stage area.

Some pics from the process in which PuraVida was involved.

Taking (pegging!) the ideas to the ground!

After the ground truthing, the plans were drawn by another project member!


Please check this awesome project on facebook

This project is supported by:

gccc-logo natureplay-qld

Pictures and text taken from different sources:

  • Project facebook page
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Nature Play QLD – Like us on Facebook

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