A brief History of the Botanic Garden Playground
The idea for this project started way back in 2014 when our President of the Day was keen to start a project for his Rotary year and planted the seed for the Rotary Club of Moe to build a playground in the Botanic Gardens.
From that idea, a sub committee was formed, consisting of about 4 Rotarians and for the next two years there were many meetings with Latrobe City Council, local councilors and representatives of local community-based organisations such as the Historical Society, Moe Rail Trail and the Moe Tennis club to establish a plan to achieve this outcome.  One of the first requests from the LCC was to come up with a theme for the park.  After further consultations with members and local groups, it was agreed to go with a Railway Theme to depict the importance of the history of the railway system in Moe and surrounding areas.
In July 2016 a Memorandum of Understanding was signed.  This was a significant event as it paved the way for us to move forward with the project.
Our next step was to engage an architect to provide a proposal for a play space concept plan.  We applied to the Latrobe City for a matching grant of $5,000 which was approved.  With a budget of $10,000 we sent out proposals to seven recommended architects.
Out of the seven, three responses were received. A meeting was organized with all members of the sub committee including reps from the other local community organizations. (rail trail, Historical society) .  Following that meeting, LCC appointed Mike smith Architects and a concept plan was developed including costings for the final result.
During the process to this point, we were not quite sure what the costing would be, however, we had a figure in mind. Members were kept in the loop along the way and announcing that the playground had been costed at over $300,000 was a little concerning and many of us, obviously, were anxious as to how we would be raising this type of money. However, until the plan was formerly adopted, we couldn’t really do any serious fund raising.
In October 2017 our proposal finally went to Council and was officially adopted by council.
By this time LV Authority were up and running and LCC suggested that it would be quite possible that LVA would help fund the park.  This was a very exciting announcement to our club as it made our journey easier and we became more hopeful that we would succeed in acquiring the park.
In Feb 2018 Latrobe City commenced a submission for funding from LVA and in April 2019, it was announced, that our project would be fully funded by LVA contributing $236,695 and LCC $110,793 a total of $347,488.
Work on the playground commenced in 2019 and was completed in April 2021.
The playground has proven to be extremely popular with the local community and many families have enjoyed taking their children there for outings.