St Joseph’s reserve reveals natural playground

St Joseph's School, Bardon

An elevated ‘fauna hide’ is the centrepiece of St Joseph’s Rosewood Reserve​​

STUDENTS at Joseph’s School, Bardon, have an exciting new area to explore, study nature and have fun with the completion of their Rosewood Reserve. 

In the spirit of Laudato Si’,​ the school community transformed what was once an eyesore, filled with noxious weeds and dumped rubbish, into the highly functional ‘Nature Play Area’ for students over the past two years. 

The centrepiece of the reserve is an elevated “fauna hide" structure, supplied by AUSPLAY, which sits on poles among the treetops adorned with Possum and bird nesting boxes and native beehives. 

The hide features rope net climbs, a rope net hammock, vertical and horizontal rope climbing tunnels, a “spider" net climb and a fireman's pole.

The reserve also features tube slides, bank climbing nets, log “jumbles", a flat turfed surround and area for games.

Before work began

The school’s Parent and Friends Association contributed $200,000 (and a lot of working bees) to the project, adding to the $100,000 put in by the school and a grant of $80,000.

To start the process, the school contracted Guymer Bailey Landscape Architects to prepare the design.

The area was fenced off and dead and exotic trees and weeds removed and replaced with new plantings of local gene-pool species, bush tucker and edible plants.

Flora varieties were chosen so students could use the area to learn about horticulture and growing food plants.

Following the planting phase, large rocks were placed along the reserve embankment to stabilize the steep slope and create steps and paths for access and play.

The rocks also helped form a dry creek bed to accommodate run-off from the school oval and create a water play area, complete with water pump, for students to enjoy.

Brisbane City Council generously donated mulch to help control weeds and promote plant growth.

St Joseph’s Principal Fran Burke said staff and students extended their gratitude to the P&F for helping fund and build the unique playground piece that would be a lasting legacy for the school. 

“It is not just a nature play or playground area for our community, it is so much more,” Ms Burke said. 

“It has now become a nature corridor where we have begun the re-establishment of native flora in an effort to bring native wildlife back to this area,” she said.

St Joseph’s P&F begin the clean up

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