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Exercise area marks garden completion

The erection of an exercise area for seniors has drawn the wellness garden at Rural Northwest Heath’s Warracknabeal campus to the cusp of completion.

The powerfully built motion wellness exercise package features a variety of fitness stations to support motion, laid out on a safe rubber surface. The 11 stations include a hand bike, tai chi wheels, snake pipe with ring, balance beam, rope bridge walk and more.

The senior circuit system is designed to include a variety of low, medium and high degree of exercises that support physical, cognitive and social awareness. The US-designed system improves stability, coordination and balance through continued use of the individual stations.

A variety of training tutorials are stamped on the equipment to show you how to use each component. Each tutorial also explains the benefits of using that particular exercise.

RNH CEO Kevin Mills said the installation of the equipment would almost complete the wellness garden which has been a major project for the RNH and Warracknabeal community.

“There are just a few aesthetic features still to be added such as statues, signage and a history board but the wellness garden work itself is at the completion stage for now,” Mr Mills said.

“It was initially designed as a therapeutic garden for everyone to use including community members so we really want to see people utilising the area as much as possible now,” he said.

“It’s a great place to bring the entire family any day of the week and I imagine it will become a popular spot once the weather warms up.”

Horsham firm Chapple Landscaping began work on the wellness garden just over two years ago, guided by an initial design from Melbourne landscape architects Kate and Kendall Monk. The themes of the garden were designed from the region’s key elements including farm, tree, creek, community and health.

The garden was built in stages which include a sensory garden, community plaza and orchard forecourt, a movement park and a grassy knoll. A $500 donation from Warracknabeal Rotary Club and RNH funding helped kickstart the project.

The finished product has provided an enchanting and functional gateway to the main campus. It features a large sheltered area with a roof imitating the old Warracknabeal hospital, a paved courtyard and areas of rubber flooring in earthen tones.

Mr Mills said the initial wellness garden concept also featured a water park.

“We haven’t canned the water park idea but it’s on the backburner at this stage,” he said.

“We’ve left an area specifically for its installation and the necessary piping has been laid but at this stage we simply don’t have the funding to complete it,” he said.

“If anyone in the community would like to help make the water park happen, we would be very keen to discuss the idea with them.”


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