Play fun, naturally

Mirboo North Playgroup tots Arlo, Connor, Angus, Amy, Lily and Billy will soon play in their own nature playground. photograph hayley mills

Mirboo North Playgroup tots Arlo, Connor, Angus, Amy, Lily and Billy will soon play in their own nature playground. photograph hayley mills

Mirboo North toddlers will be able to play naturally and explore their own creativity thanks to a $6000 community grant recently announced by the South Gippsland Shire.

The Mirboo North Playgroup was one of 21 community groups to receive more than $100,000 to support projects with a value of about $600,000.

Mirboo North Playgroup president Lorinda Campbell said the 60 children who use the centre would have an artisan-crafted playground, made from locally-sourced. natural materials.

Children will be able to play in an archway made from live melaleuca sticks that will grow into a mini-forest.

There will be wandering paths with shrubs and boulders placed strategically to act as gathering points for kids to kick-back and listen to stories.

Ms Campbell said the committee was looking for something interesting to replace an old wooden structure that was pulled down in the playground.

"We discussed what would engage the kids most and what would get them playing" she said.

"We came up with a nature park designed by a local artisan craftsman with a keen interest in Steiner education and natural products."

Ms Campbell said the committee had raised an additional $6000 towards the new playground at the annual Choo Choo craft market.

She said the playground should be ready by the end of the year and would be an added attraction to lure new families in to the community playgroup.

Other Mirboo North groups to come out winners in the latest community grants round include the Mirboo North Golf Club, which received $9000 towards new irrigation, and the Walter J Tuck Reserve which received $7000 for irrigation.

South Gippsland mayor Lorraine Brunt praised the successful community groups.

"The commitment of the South Gippsland community to make this a better place for all of us is outstanding. Everyone should be proud of their efforts," Cr Brunt said.

Applications for next year's community grants program are open until August 31.

Applicants for project worth more than $5000 are encouraged to contact council's community strengthening team before applying.

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