A state-of-the-art playground is being constructed in Diamond Creek Reserve, complete with a historic Melbourne tram which will be transformed into a community facility.
The community will be invited to participate and have their input early in the new year to refine concept designs for the playground, before construction gets underway towards the middle of next year.
The Growing Suburbs Fund allocated $2.5 million for the playground, which will enable the construction of the large Diamond Creek Regional Park.
The precinct is currently home to a number of parks with recreation and leisure uses including the Marngrook and Coventry ovals, an outdoor pool and recreational open space.
Ellis Ward Councillor Peter Perkins said Council was successful in obtaining State Government funding to build the playground, after highlighting both its local and regional patronage potential and its proximity to the Diamond Creek Trail.
“This will complete the regional park as a family destination and be the jewel in the crown for Diamond Creek,” Perkins said.
The project will include a car park, playground equipment, picnic areas and educational apps that support augmented reality discovery learning experiences.
A decommissioned historic Melbourne tram secured by community groups will be the focal point in the playground area.
The tram was obtained after the State Government announced it had approximately 127 trams to rehome.
There were 1500 applications with a joint submission by Diamond Creek CFA member Joshua Allen, Diamond Creek Rotary Club member Kerry Jones and Diamond Creek Men’s Shed member Leigh Marshall, being ranked number one.
The three have now formed the Diamond Creek Tram Project and extended the committee to eight members.
The tram will be refurbished into a community-run coffee shop, with different local community groups getting a chance to run it throughout the year.
All profits will then be donated back to those community groups.
The Diamond Creek Tram Project has received some great donations such as a solar system, air conditioner, plumbing and building supplies, but is looking to get community involvement in setting up the project.
The Diamond Creek Tram Project is currently selling personalised engraved pavers to be laid in conjunction with the project.
These can be bought at Bendigo Bank Diamond Creek.
Mayor Karen Egan said the playground would be a much-loved asset to be enjoyed for generations to come.
“A landmark university study has already identified us as the happiest Shire in Australia.
“This new playground will make our residents even more proud and delighted to live in Nillumbik,” Egan said