Ruthven Playspace Design

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A nature-based playspace for the new park at the former Ruthven Primary School Site

Council has been working with the community to design a new playspace in the heart of the new park at the former Ruthven Primary School site, in Tracey Street and Glasgow Avenue, Reservoir.

The playspace design is based on the input we received during community engagement across 2017-2019 for the Reimagining Ruthven Master Plan, which was adopted by Council in 2020. The new playspace will be delivered in late 2021 with State Government funding assistance.

We are now seeking your feedback to help us finalise the design of the new playspace.

Two images of the site - lawn and trees and a building in the distance

What’s happened so far

Ruthven park is Darebin’s newest park, created through the purchase of the former Ruthven Primary School site in 2016. The park fills a gap in the provision of open space in this part of north-west Reservoir and is well-connected to the shared pathway along Edgars Creek.

A long term vision and plan for the site was created in 2017-2020 in collaboration with the community as well as a Community Reference Group and the Darebin Nature Trust. This long term vision and plan is documented in a master plan called 'Reimagining Ruthven'. The vision for the park is a bushland sanctuary theme, which will be progressively realised over the next 20 years or so.

You can find out more about The Reimagining Ruthven Master Plan here or check out the adopted master plan here.

Feedback was received from the community during the development of the Master Plan about what people wanted to do in the new playspace and how they wanted it to look and feel. This feedback directly informed the design concept. We have included as many of the requested items as we could to achieve the best value for the community with the available budget.

People asked for:

  • Play equipment that emphasises natural materials and colours, and is not visually dominant in the landscape
  • A focus on indigenous plantings as well as robust native species, which will provide interesting and tactile elements to engage children in the local environment
  • Seating, community meeting spaces and amenities to support all park users
  • Slides and swings
  • Climbing and adventure play opportunities
  • Nature play
  • Multi-generational play opportunities
  • Basketball
  • Flying fox
  • Scooter trail

The design concept

The new nature-based playspace will be located in the centre of the park and will begin to create the heart of the park and provide a focal point for the community.

You can look at the design concept in more detail here.

A bird's eye view of the site with a draft design sketched on top

The design of the new playspace focuses on nature play and adventurous play for children of all ages. The playspace design includes a timber and rope climbing structure for older kids, junior play area, swings, spinner, stepper logs and rocks.

Five images of wooden climbing and swinging play equipmentAdventurous play opportunities for children of all ages

The Ruthven playspace will create opportunities for climbing, swinging, sliding, rolling, leaping, balancing and spinning. Materials will largely comprise timber, rock, ropes and natural colours, blending the playspace into the bushland sanctuary of the park.

The playspace has been designed to be sensitive to the bushland theme of the park


An informal nature play area will be created next to the playspace for building cubbies, loose parts play, climbing on logs and exploring the sheoak grove.

Five images of children playing in natureNature play and loose parts play opportunities

There is also the opportunity to line mark a scooter trail or games on the existing asphalt surface.

Construction will begin later this year.

What’s happening now

We are really excited to release the designs for the Ruthven Playspace, and would love to hear your feedback on what we’ve suggested before we finalise the design and begin building your playspace later in 2021!

We will use your responses to include the things that people think are most important and will give the community the best outcome for the available budget when we build the playspace later this year.

What colours would you like to see for the new equipment – for the ropes, slides, spinner and rubber softfall surface? cast your vote on your favourite colour scheme using the voting buttons on the right.

Image of three options for the colour schemes for the play equipment

Complete the survey to rank how important you think the individual items to be included in the design are.

Have we got the design right for the playspace?

Is there anything missing?

Please provide your comments and complete the survey below and cast your vote (to the right).

Note About COVID-19 Restrictions and Community Engagement:

Given the evolving COVID-19 restrictions including the need for physical distancing and limits to outdoor gatherings, we are running this community engagement process with both a face to face consultation event and an online forum. This will ensure that everyone has an opportunity to get involved.

Face to face events will be operated according to the current Government restrictions and Darebin City Council’s COVID-Safe plan.

If restrictions change and we are unable to hold the event face to face, this event will become an online event during the same timeslot.

Please keep an eye on this page for further details close to the date.

For information about Council’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Darebin Council website

How to get involved:

  • View the design concept.

You can look at the design design concept in more detail here and look out for posters at the park.

  • Join an engagement event

Come and view the concept and discuss the design at one of our community engagement events:

  • At the park – Saturday 20 February 2021 from 10am - 12pm (Ruthven Park 74-76 Glasgow Avenue, Reservoir)
  • Online on Wednesday 24 February 2021 from 7:00 -8:30pm to discuss the design with Council officers. Registrations for this event have now closed.
  • Tell us your thoughts online

Add your comments and complete the survey below and cast your vote (to the right) to tell us your thoughts on the Ruthven park playspace design concept.

Or you can email any questions or comments to City.Design@darebin.vic.gov.au or ask to speak to a City Designer about the design concept by calling 8470 8888.

If you would like to speak to someone in your preferred language about the pop-up bike lanes, please contact us or call 8470 8470 to be connected to a Language Aide or an interpreter.

Please send through your feedback by Sunday 28 February and keep an eye on this page for project updates.

What’s next?

The feedback you provide will be collated and considered by Council as the final playspace design is prepared. The community will be updated on the outcome.

Council has received a grant from the State Government to construct the core playspace with construction expected to commence late in 2021.

The park will be formally named, in collaboration with the community including the Traditional landowners, the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung people. Stay tuned to find out more when this process starts.

A nature-based playspace for the new park at the former Ruthven Primary School Site

Council has been working with the community to design a new playspace in the heart of the new park at the former Ruthven Primary School site, in Tracey Street and Glasgow Avenue, Reservoir.

The playspace design is based on the input we received during community engagement across 2017-2019 for the Reimagining Ruthven Master Plan, which was adopted by Council in 2020. The new playspace will be delivered in late 2021 with State Government funding assistance.

We are now seeking your feedback to help us finalise the design of the new playspace.

Two images of the site - lawn and trees and a building in the distance

What’s happened so far

Ruthven park is Darebin’s newest park, created through the purchase of the former Ruthven Primary School site in 2016. The park fills a gap in the provision of open space in this part of north-west Reservoir and is well-connected to the shared pathway along Edgars Creek.

A long term vision and plan for the site was created in 2017-2020 in collaboration with the community as well as a Community Reference Group and the Darebin Nature Trust. This long term vision and plan is documented in a master plan called 'Reimagining Ruthven'. The vision for the park is a bushland sanctuary theme, which will be progressively realised over the next 20 years or so.

You can find out more about The Reimagining Ruthven Master Plan here or check out the adopted master plan here.

Feedback was received from the community during the development of the Master Plan about what people wanted to do in the new playspace and how they wanted it to look and feel. This feedback directly informed the design concept. We have included as many of the requested items as we could to achieve the best value for the community with the available budget.

People asked for:

  • Play equipment that emphasises natural materials and colours, and is not visually dominant in the landscape
  • A focus on indigenous plantings as well as robust native species, which will provide interesting and tactile elements to engage children in the local environment
  • Seating, community meeting spaces and amenities to support all park users
  • Slides and swings
  • Climbing and adventure play opportunities
  • Nature play
  • Multi-generational play opportunities
  • Basketball
  • Flying fox
  • Scooter trail

The design concept

The new nature-based playspace will be located in the centre of the park and will begin to create the heart of the park and provide a focal point for the community.

You can look at the design concept in more detail here.

A bird's eye view of the site with a draft design sketched on top

The design of the new playspace focuses on nature play and adventurous play for children of all ages. The playspace design includes a timber and rope climbing structure for older kids, junior play area, swings, spinner, stepper logs and rocks.

Five images of wooden climbing and swinging play equipmentAdventurous play opportunities for children of all ages

The Ruthven playspace will create opportunities for climbing, swinging, sliding, rolling, leaping, balancing and spinning. Materials will largely comprise timber, rock, ropes and natural colours, blending the playspace into the bushland sanctuary of the park.

The playspace has been designed to be sensitive to the bushland theme of the park


An informal nature play area will be created next to the playspace for building cubbies, loose parts play, climbing on logs and exploring the sheoak grove.

Five images of children playing in natureNature play and loose parts play opportunities

There is also the opportunity to line mark a scooter trail or games on the existing asphalt surface.

Construction will begin later this year.

What’s happening now

We are really excited to release the designs for the Ruthven Playspace, and would love to hear your feedback on what we’ve suggested before we finalise the design and begin building your playspace later in 2021!

We will use your responses to include the things that people think are most important and will give the community the best outcome for the available budget when we build the playspace later this year.

What colours would you like to see for the new equipment – for the ropes, slides, spinner and rubber softfall surface? cast your vote on your favourite colour scheme using the voting buttons on the right.

Image of three options for the colour schemes for the play equipment

Complete the survey to rank how important you think the individual items to be included in the design are.

Have we got the design right for the playspace?

Is there anything missing?

Please provide your comments and complete the survey below and cast your vote (to the right).

Note About COVID-19 Restrictions and Community Engagement:

Given the evolving COVID-19 restrictions including the need for physical distancing and limits to outdoor gatherings, we are running this community engagement process with both a face to face consultation event and an online forum. This will ensure that everyone has an opportunity to get involved.

Face to face events will be operated according to the current Government restrictions and Darebin City Council’s COVID-Safe plan.

If restrictions change and we are unable to hold the event face to face, this event will become an online event during the same timeslot.

Please keep an eye on this page for further details close to the date.

For information about Council’s response to COVID-19, please visit the Darebin Council website

How to get involved:

  • View the design concept.

You can look at the design design concept in more detail here and look out for posters at the park.

  • Join an engagement event

Come and view the concept and discuss the design at one of our community engagement events:

  • At the park – Saturday 20 February 2021 from 10am - 12pm (Ruthven Park 74-76 Glasgow Avenue, Reservoir)
  • Online on Wednesday 24 February 2021 from 7:00 -8:30pm to discuss the design with Council officers. Registrations for this event have now closed.
  • Tell us your thoughts online

Add your comments and complete the survey below and cast your vote (to the right) to tell us your thoughts on the Ruthven park playspace design concept.

Or you can email any questions or comments to City.Design@darebin.vic.gov.au or ask to speak to a City Designer about the design concept by calling 8470 8888.

If you would like to speak to someone in your preferred language about the pop-up bike lanes, please contact us or call 8470 8470 to be connected to a Language Aide or an interpreter.

Please send through your feedback by Sunday 28 February and keep an eye on this page for project updates.

What’s next?

The feedback you provide will be collated and considered by Council as the final playspace design is prepared. The community will be updated on the outcome.

Council has received a grant from the State Government to construct the core playspace with construction expected to commence late in 2021.

The park will be formally named, in collaboration with the community including the Traditional landowners, the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung people. Stay tuned to find out more when this process starts.