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  • Our new playspace is accessible to all

  • Local sporting clubs love our new fields

  • The new skate park is already very popular

Monday, 25 November 2019

Lionel Watts would be a proud man this week, as the community comes together to celebrate the official grand opening of many new outdoor recreation facilities in the Glen Street area.

The realisation of Council’s $9 million Glen Street Open Space Landscape Masterplan includes multi-use synthetic fields, a new skate park and now an inclusive children’s play area all ready for the community to enjoy. Future works to complete the Masterplan include the construction of a shared path to link the playground to Glen St Library, Theatre and Glenrose shops, a new carpark and landscape upgrades for the show ground and completion of expanded facilities for user groups of the site.

The Lionel Watts Inclusive Playspace is now the largest play area in the Northern Beaches and includes many pieces of equipment that are accessible to those with limited mobility and includes other sensory elements to excite children of all abilities.

The playground and sportsfields are named in honour of Lionel Watts CMG MBE (1928-2000), who became a quadriplegic in his 20s and went on to found the charity and advocacy group House with No Steps (now known as Aruma) and influence law changes that now allow more freedom of movement, independence and inclusion for people with disability.

Watts, a resident of the Northern Beaches, saw the discrimination against and isolation of people like himself in wheelchairs in the 1950s and worked the rest of his life to make the changes needed to allow all people to participate in and contribute to community life. He built one of the world’s first electric wheelchairs with a deck chair and electric parts from a local disposal store - giving people the freedom to move around independently. As Chairman of the Architectural Barriers Committee for ACROD he instigated laws requiring compulsory wheelchair access for all public buildings, footpaths and crossings. This committee also helped introduce disability parking permits.

Families are encouraged to join us on December 1 to celebrate this amazing new regional outdoor recreation hub. Picnic in the Park will include circus theatrical stage shows, roving entertainment, skateboarding and circus-themed activities.

Kicking off at 9.30am, the entertainment stretches through to lunchtime. Stay and enjoy a picnic from home or try something new from our pop-up food vendors on site.

You will be entertained by The Great Gagliardis, Wham Glam Circus Man, Mr Jeff: Balloon Man and the Splash Test Dummies

The event is free, but registration is required. Register

Picnic in the Park
Lionel Watts Reserve, Frenchs Forest
Sunday 1 December, 9.30am – 12noon

Stage Program:

9.30am MC Open
9.35am – 9.45am Official opening of new Lionel Watts Reserve
9.45am – 10.25am The Great Gagliardis
10.25am – 10.55am Wham Glam Circus Man
10.55am – 11.25am Mr Jeff: Balloon Man
11.25am – 11.55am Splash Test Dummies
11.55am – 12.00pm MC close - event concludes

Free activities:

Circus playground
Skate and scooter activities with Skater HQ
Photo booth
Face painting
Calico reusable bag decorating
Bees wax wraps making

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