Play trail adds vibrancy to city centre

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    Jay Coote at the twister game, one of the activities at the Uncontained Play space in Esk St.
    Healthy Families Invercargill lead systems innovator Stella O’Connor and manager Jared Cappie play with the tether ball installed at Wachner Pl, in Invercargill, last week.

    THE Invercargill CBD is being transformed into a pop-up playground for all ages.

    Sport Southland’s Healthy Families, in partnership with the Invercargill City Council, is working to bring fun, vibrancy and activation to the city centre with its Invers Play Trail.

    A central and sometimes forgotten Wachner Pl would play an important part in the project.

    Healthy Families Invercargill manager Jared Cappie said the idea was to create a series of pop-up temporary play spaces for the duration of the redevelopment in the CBD.

    After talking to the community during the past four years, the group developed a strategy and had a range of insights which included a survey and pop-up play activation across the city.

    “The key themes that emerged were to create play spaces that are family friendly, sheltered, interactive, intergenerational and fun in the CBD.”

    He said the survey also highlighted the need for more free and low-cost options which would encourage families to visit and stay for longer in the CBD.

    “Observations from the Invers Play Trail will help inform what future play opportunities in the CBD will look like.”

    Wachner Pl would be a “focal point” in the project, he said.

    This area would be considered for redevelopment through the CBD Streetscapes Master Plan during the Dee St phase, he said.

    “In Wachner Place we are planning a couple of green spaces, tetherball, Cornhole and bean bags.”

    This activation would link with play opportunities at the Invercargill Library, the “Uncontained Play” space in Esk St, and table tennis in Don St, among other initiatives.

    Mr Cappie hoped the completed Invers Play Trail would be ready for the public to enjoy soon.

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