Catherine Street Inclusive Park and Community Garden is an accessible play and recreation space in the centre of Dumfries, designed for all ages and abilities. The park has been shortlisted as a finalist in the national Landscape Institute Awards in the “Excellence in Public Health and Wellbeing” Category.
Concepts born from community consultation and workshops were brought to life through the design process led by local Dumfries-based charity Include Us, who manage and maintain the park.
Accessibility was improved by a gateway linking The Usual Place café where a Changing Places Toilet is located, replacing steep ramps with gentle gradients and paths and replacing old play equipment with all-ability equipment. The welcoming and playful railings and rainbow Catherine Street park signs were based on designs by local children.
The park offers imaginative, interactive play and learning opportunities; water pumped by hand cascades over the waterwheel and through channels and dams, a sand crane and chute enables sand to be transported to and from the platform house and a roofed outdoor classroom offers the opportunity for outdoor learning and storytelling.
Since opening in February this year the park has been a hub of activity, supporting health and wellbeing during these uncertain times.
Lisa Callander-Bone, Include Us Development Manager said “Catherine Street Inclusive Park is unique as it encourages all age groups to share a space and learn to spend recreation time side by side. This isn’t just a children’s playpark nor a disability park, it’s a place for everyone regardless of age or ability to spend time together. We believe this helps break down barriers, unites families and will bring better awareness and empathy between people of different backgrounds and abilities”.
Dr Andy Zieleniec, Include Us Chairman adds “we are delighted that Catherine Street Inclusive Park has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Landscape Institute Awards. The park is testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved in turning the park dream into a reality. From our own team and Kelda Platt from Munro Landscapes, to funders and local supporters, local Council colleagues, contractors and equipment suppliers, it has been a true partnership approach. Seeing the local community embracing the park and enjoying all it has to offer has been our reward but hearing the design has been nationally recognised is fantastic. Another accolade for Dumfries and Galloway”.
Finalists will have to wait until November 26th to hear who has won. Include Us will announce the results on our website and social media accounts (www.includeus.org.uk)