From dustbowl to dream space

LAST Thursday (March 9) the transformation of the former dusty courtyard at Torrens Primary School was unveiled by Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry.

Torrens Primary School’s improved outdoor area.

The principal of Torrens Primary Sue Mueller recalls the old courtyard as a lifeless dustbowl that was underused and under loved. 
The area has been revamped for the first time in 40 years as part of an initiative from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), 202020 Vision, University of Canberra (UC), Torrens Primary School and a raft of local business and parents.
The upgrade was the pilot project for My Park Rules, laying the groundwork for a national initiative aiming to ensure every school in Australia offers quality outdoor spaces for their community.
After combing ideas of the Torrens Primary School students, with support from UC landscape architecture students and AILA, a truly transformative space was created.
“We asked the kids for their ideas and this is what they came up with. Although we didn’t go with the chocolate fountain, which was a very popular suggestion, they now have an amazing space that they have ownership of,” says Mueller. 

At the unveiling of Torrens Primary School’s improved outdoor area.

“It’s a huge change, the area is now full of life and always buzzing with happy kids it’s really become a community area, we’ve even got teachers holding some of their classes outside.”
With more than $200,000 of services and products contributed to the project, the area now boasts 380m2 of grassy lawn, over a thousand new plants, boulders arranged to create outdoor learning circles and an outdoor area for teachers. The design also preserved three historic eucalyptus trees, utilising them to create seating areas with natural shade. 

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