There is a sensational new place for families to explore and play in Portarlington after the official opening of the Portarlington & Drysdale Community Bank Branches Play Space at WG Little Reserve.

The new main playground for the northern Bellarine has been designed to increase the range of play choices for children of all ages with a balance of traditional play equipment alongside nature based and imaginary play opportunities. New features that were informed by local children and their families include a dry creek bed and water play, balancing logs, climbing ropes, swings, a trampoline and a flying fox.

John Nankervis, CEO of Bellarine Bayside said the redevelopment has transformed the parkland with coastal themed art installations, play sculptures and new native gardens creating a shared space for children and their families.

“We really wanted to revitalise the reserve to be a drawcard for visitors to the area and a hub for the community to gather and enjoy together,” said Mr Nankervis. “With this in mind, the multipurpose space also includes new seating and tables, a picnic shelter and an adult fitness station alongside the play equipment.”

The more than half a million dollar redevelopment of the playground would not have been possible without the support of a range of community funding sources. Invaluable funding support has been provided by Bellarine Bayside, the Portarlington and Drysdale Community Bank branches of Bendigo Bank, the City of Greater Geelong, the Portarlington-Drysdale Lions Club, Port Arts Network, Portarlington Mussel Festival and the National Celtic Festival.

Chris Niven, Senior Branch Manager at the Portarlington & Drysdale branches of Bendigo Bank said, “We are incredibly pleased and proud to be able to support this project which is so important to this town.  We are dedicated as an organisation to ensuring that the community in which we operate is providing the best possible services to all of our residents and this playground is an amazing space for families.”

Stephen Wight, Vice Chairperson of the Bellarine Peninsula Community Branch Ltd, which operates the branches of the Bendigo Bank in Portarlington and Drysdale said, “When we were approached by Bellarine Bayside to assist in the project we were so excited to be able to be a part of such a unique and valuable asset for Portarlington.  We are extremely pleased to be able to contribute the sum of $250,000 to this project, which will do so much for the area, not just for the families.  Our contribution is only possible because of the ongoing support of our customers and shareholders.”

The park was officially opened on Friday, 15 November, by The Hon. Lisa Neville MP, Member for Bellarine, with students from Portarlington Primary School among the first to test it out.