Curry Reserve water play space named Australia's best park

Ready to play: Hayley Edwards, 16, and her mother Jody with mayor Theresa Fedeli are all happy with the new inclusive facilities at Curry Reserve. Picture: Simon Bennett
Ready to play: Hayley Edwards, 16, and her mother Jody with mayor Theresa Fedeli are all happy with the new inclusive facilities at Curry Reserve. Picture: Simon Bennett

Curry Reserve has been crowned the country's 'Park of the Year' at the 2020 Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence.

The Elderslie water play space, which opened in September last year, is home to the Macarthur region's area's first fully accessible and accredited public toilet and adult change facility.

The inclusive playground is also home to wet play wheelchairs and accessible activities.

Camden mayor Theresa Fedeli said the award recognised the importance of inclusive spaces in communities.

"It's a huge honour to receive this award for this fantastic local facility we have here in Camden," she said.

"Curry Reserve was created to break down the barriers which prevent people with disability from enjoying the same opportunities and choices as other recreational space users.

"We have more than 6000 Camden residents who are currently living with some form of disability, and they deserve to enjoy recreational spaces just like everybody else."

As well as its inclusivity, the park was also recognised for its sustainable design, use of recycled and treated water, construction around existing trees and its water bottle refill station.

Cr Fedeli said there had been a huge, positive impact in the community since the opening of Curry Reserve.

"I've had parents come up to me and say 'thank you so much for creating this place where my child can have fun,'" she said.

"To see kids and adults enjoying a water play space that otherwise might not be able to is incredibly heart-warming."

Local resident, Jody Edwards, told the Advertiser earlier this year that the park and accredited change facility had made life a lot easier for her family.

"My 16-year-old daughter, Hayley, has Angelman syndrome," Ms Edwards said.

"Hayley loves water, so being able to completely immerse herself with the help of the wet wheelchairs and watch the water spurt up around her makes her day. And now we have no changing issues at Curry Reserve."

For more information, visit camden.nsw.gov.au.