No fun in the sun at this park

By Jennifer Kent

A MALENY children’s park will again be unusable in the heat of summer with the council not allocating funding for shade until the 2023/24 financial year.

It comes after Tesch Park’s main shade tree was removed in 2020 due to safety concerns.

Tesch Park, located on the corner of Coral and Maple Streets, beside the Library, was briefly closed in 2020 when a large tree damaged part of the playground equipment and surrounding fence; the tree, which had kept equipment cool over summer, was subsequently removed. It has now been confirmed the Sunshine Coast Council has not budgeted to replace the tree with new shading until the 2023/24 financial year, meaning the harsh summer sun will make the park unusable in the daytime heat.    

Councillor Winston Johnston advised that there were plans for shade sail to be erected in both Tesch and Cooke parks, explaining that shade sail was to be erected in Cooke Park later this financial year, with plans for Tesch Park next financial year.

According to Cancer Council, good-quality shade can reduce UV expose by up to 75 per cent. 

One local grandfather, Neil Andison, shared on a local Facebook group page his experience of his young grandson hurting himself on the climbing equipment due to a build-up of heat.

Calling on support of others for the provision of a shade shelter over the playground equipment, he received considerable support from local residents. 

“Last Friday it was unusable by 9.30am. Too hot for my 3yo to climb up on,” wrote Kristy Walsh. “The parks in Maleny are in great need of new equipment, including #1 the shade. The children in this town all too often miss out compared to other towns around the Sunshine Coast,” wrote Dee Chapman. 

It comes as the town comes together to consider options for a multi-generational park to cater for all ages.

Maleny Forums last month held discussions about what is needed with a range of inputs from students to parents.