Water good idea...

SPLASH: The children of Balharry Memorial Children's Centre can;t wait to have a play on their new water course.
SPLASH: The children of Balharry Memorial Children's Centre can;t wait to have a play on their new water course.

Balharry Memorial Children's Centre in Lucindale have splashed out on a new nature play water run for the children to enjoy.

Director Kate Foreman said the idea came from a discussion with the 2020 governing council about what they could do in the way of play equipment.

"Over the past few years the Governing Council have chatted about getting climbing equipment or a playground put in, but we wanted to encourage a more open-ended play experience, so we wanted to move away from the playground," she said.

"When they go to school they'll have playgrounds, and there is a playground right in the centre of town so we thought we'd do something a little bit different, so I suggested a water course feature, and the governing council were really excited about it."

Built by Climbing Tree, an Adelaide-based company which built the Caves Nature Play playground, the run is a short, downhill water course that ends in the sandpit, providing the children with endless fun and possibilities.

"It is so nice for the children to have something really cool outside, something that they can use their muscles with, it encourages all those finer gross motor skills, it has mathematical concepts," Miss Foreman said.

WET: Some of the children test out the pump at the water course at the Balharry Memorial Children's Centre at Lucindale.

WET: Some of the children test out the pump at the water course at the Balharry Memorial Children's Centre at Lucindale.

She said it was the fruition of years of fundraising and hard work by the centre and the wider Lucindale community.

"Over the last ten years or so, the centre has had fundraising events at the Lucindale Field Days, Christmas street parties, campdraft etc, there are always fundraising efforts going on and our fundraising bank kept growing, but nothing had been done with money, so this year we thought we'd use some of our fundraising money to build this new water course so that we have an awesome nature play space for the children that is open ended.

"It's great to be able to do something with the fundraising efforts of the local community and the families, and put something in place that will be here for a really long time.

"It will be great for the next generations coming through. Even though this year's children will only get a couple of weeks with it, it is a legacy for their families, they helped us build it and now we have something that is going to be here for a really long time and lots of fun to use."

In addition to the fundraising, local families and businesses have helped out by supplying materials and offering a helping hand.

COMMUNITY EFFORT: The water course was a labor of love for the whole community

COMMUNITY EFFORT: The water course was a labor of love for the whole community

"We had the England family supply the rocks, we had the Savage family supply our bits of wood, we had help from Daniel McCarthy at Castec with sourcing the pumps and the water tank, we've had lots of help," Miss Foreman said.

"Lucindale is really good like that - we are very lucky here because everyone gets behind each other and helps out and that's why this year, we wanted to use some of that fundraising money to show the local community that we are doing something with their efforts and something for the children to enjoy.

"We also bought in a chicken coop, with the chickens donated by Sam and Nicole Clothier and we had loads of help with that too - the Elliott family helped out with the chicken perches and nesting boxes, Abby Goodman made our feeder and we had a working bee earlier in the year where we had many of the dads help put the cage together.

"We are very lucky here in Lucindale to have lots of family and community input, it's been a big community effort.

"Our governing council have also been amazing, jumping on board and being really enthusiastic about getting some things happening."

The children got to use the course for the first time last Thursday, just in time for the hot weather, and Miss Foreman said the kids were loving it already.