Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is a special place for children to connect with nature and learn to appreciate Western Australia’s incredible natural environment. It is also the home of Kings Park Education.

Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park aerial walkway plans.View image slideshow

It is a dedicated nature space that encourages learning and discovery and gives city kids the opportunity to have a ‘bush experience’ in the heart of Perth.

Our aim is to give children a hands-on experience of WA’s natural environment that will inspire them to play an active role in environmental conservation throughout their lives.

Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park is surrounded by natural bushland and features large aerial walkways called The Python and The Bungarra, a creek and waterhole for wading in, a cubby-building area, tunnels, rocks and a web of climbing ropes called The Tangle.

It covers six hectares and can be explored on accessible paths, bridges and boardwalks.

Two thirds of the area is open to the general public and one third is a dedicated education zone for booked groups participating in Kings Park Education zone.

The education zone is home to popular outdoor ‘living classrooms’ including Pobblebonk Jetty, Tuart Hollow and the Mia Mia.

This project is made possible by Rio Tinto, who have been a strong supporter of this world-first nature space since it was first proposed in 2008. Rio Tinto will have contributed almost $9 million to the project by 2020.

Philosophy

The idea for this project arose from growing community concerns that urban children are spending less time outdoors exploring nature and, as such, are increasingly disconnected from the natural world.

This prompted us to ask the question:

'How can we expect children to care for something they have never experienced?'

Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park delivers a practical response to this issue. Since opening in 2011, the community has established itself as a leader in connecting children with nature. Families and schools have also been embracing this philosophy.

The precinct is devoted to connecting children with nature and providing innovative education about Western Australian biodiversity, local Aboriginal culture and the natural sciences.

Rio Tinto is committed to supporting educational initiatives that encourage learning from early childhood to adulthood, in order to deliver a lasting legacy for the Western Australian community.

As a conservation organisation, this is an important priority for Kings Park and Botanic Garden. The benefits for unstructured outdoor activity for children on mental health, social and cognitive skills, problem solving, physical fitness and healthy development are also clear.

Background

When it opened in October 2011, the project was the first of its kind in the world. Since then, we have welcomed around 80,000 visitors each year and many other organisations have started to deliver similar projects around the globe.

Rio Tinto remains the major partner for this project, fully funding the $3 million Stage 2 project completed in 2017 and contributing almost $9 million in total between 2008 and 2020.

The first stage of this project was originally made possible through a large cross-sector partnership with Rio Tinto, the Friends of Kings Park, Lotterywest, Solar Cities and the Water Corporation.

A second phase of development was completed in December 2017.

Useful resources

References

  • Louv. R. (2005). Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books.
  • Rinker, H.B. (2002), The Weight of a Petal: The Value of Botanical Gardens. An ActionBioscience.org original article.

    Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park wetland pool plans.

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Under BGPA Regulations, an infringement may be issued if the driver of a vehicle does not remain within Kings Park's boundaries.

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Warm welcome to botanic garden guides

Kings Park and Botanic Garden warmly welcomes 200 delegates for the Australasian Volunteer Botanic Guides Conference from 16 to 20 September 2019. 

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Rain and wind did not dampen the spirits of guests celebrating the opening of Kings Park’s first purpose-built volunteer facility in Kings Park on Friday 30 August.

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