Picnic time for teddies

Join at Japara Bridge for the first annual teddy bear picnic for games, conversation and fun. Picture: MIKAYLA VAN LOON.

By Mikayla van Loon

Bringing people together to make better community connections is the premise of a teddy bear picnic that will be hosted in Kilsyth.

The initiative of Kilsyth Community Action Group, Jarapa Community Hub, with support of Yarra Ranges Council and Bendigo Bank, aims to bring families together for a free picnic on Saturday 13 April at Japara Bridge within Elizabeth Bridge Reserve.

Organiser Mieke Alexander said it’s about offering a no cost event where parents and children can meet new people, play games and have fun, with their favourite teddy in tow of course.

“It’s about offering a bit of respite from the pressures of life and just enjoying our wonderful local parks, The Bridge and the gardens are down there, giving people an opportunity to play and relax for an hour and a half, two hours,” she said.

Having games setup for the children, as well as colouring and other activities, Mieke said they’ll be “keeping it simple” with people encouraged to bring a picnic and share in conversation with those who have sat next to them.

A coffee van has been arranged for the day to keep the adults happy and thriving as well.

While the primary aim is community connection, Mieke said it is also about activating Kilsyth, the place commonly known as having no central meeting point.

“Kilsyth is such a drive through. It’s two shires, it’s two state electorates, it’s two federal electorates. It has no central point and so it’s nice for people to feel like they own a little bit of the community space,” she said.

“This is about really making people aware of the green space we have here. They can develop awareness of the community house, the park, the community group KCAG and also just say hello to someone there.”

The team at Japara and Mieke want to see this become an annual event that grows into a recognisable feature of the Kilsyth community calendar.

Join local families and community members at Japara Bridge from 11.30am to 2pm to be a part of the fun.

Japara Bridge is located at 49 Durham Road, Kilsyth.