Ruthven Playspace Design

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

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. At the Coubcil Meeting on Monday 24 May 2021, Council endorsed the design concept for the Ruthven Playspace. You can view the Council Report from our website here.

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. An additional round of engagement in February 2020 sought further feedback on the proposed design.

The new playspace will be delivered in late 2021 with State Government funding assistance.

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 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

In February 2020, we tested the draft design concept with our community through an online survey and public drop-in session. The results of this informed the final design.

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


What’s next?

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. At the Coubcil Meeting on Monday 24 May 2021, Council endorsed the design concept for the Ruthven Playspace. You can view the Council Report from our website here.

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. An additional round of engagement in February 2020 sought further feedback on the proposed design.

The new playspace will be delivered in late 2021 with State Government funding assistance.

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 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

In February 2020, we tested the draft design concept with our community through an online survey and public drop-in session. The results of this informed the final design.

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


What’s next?

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.