The tree stays and the pirates will come on board in the next update of Pelican Park at Woy Woy waterfront.
After fighting off a Council-under-administration move to kill off the park altogether, the public were invited to vote on its future design.
More than 500 people made submissions during the consultation period in May.
Council says it was close result.
Opinion was almost equally divided between Option one, a nature play area and Option two, a pirate themed play area.
Option three, involving removing a large shade tree and enlarging the park into a traditional play space, was the least supported.
As a result, a hybrid model featuring the best elements from both option one and two will now progress to design.
Council anticipates the designs will be exhibited publicly in the final quarter of this year, with construction slated to begin “sometime after” peak summer season.
Council’s Director Community and Recreation Services Melanie Smith said Council has listened to the survey results and noted community preference to ensure that the swamp cypress tree is maintained, as well as the fencing which is seen as an important part of the attraction of the playspace for parents with young children.
“While the design has yet to be finalised, I can confirm that the materials will be as natural as possible, and we will retain the existing fence line and picnic tables, Ms Smith said.
“This playspace will be accessible for all ages and will be a safe and inclusive space for many years to come.”
The options were:
Option 1: Nature Play:
This option utilises the existing playspace envelope with a nature play theme. This option retains all existing vegetation but does not include rubberised soft fall.
Option 2: Pirate-Themed Play:
This option retains the existing pirate play theme with a reduced playspace envelope to comply with standards for play equipment fall zones, and to keep clear of existing tree roots. All vegetation is retained with this option.
Option 3: Traditional Play:
This option proposed the removal of one Swamp Cypress to enable a larger playspace footprint with climbing, spinning and sculptural elements. With a larger playspace proposed, the cost to construct this option would exceed the typical budget allocated for a local level park needing to draw from funding allocated for the Woy Woy Lions Park District playspace upgrade.