After years of voluntary efforts, the new Marton playground – now named Te Āhuru Mōwai - will have its official opening on Saturday, April 17.
For Marton Development Group chairwoman Lucy Skou, the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be the final act in a four-year journey to get the playground finished.
"We've poured our blood, sweat and tears into this, and it's all been voluntary," Skou said.
"It's been a long and massive project, and probably way bigger than we ever anticipated.
"It is quite overwhelming coming to the end of it and seeing the result. We just hope the community loves it as much as we do."
There's plenty to love, with the new site boasting slides, trampolines, sand, swings, nature play, water play, spinning and climbing on an area that is three times the size of the previous playground.
That was built in 1951, and the only other playground in Marton was built in the 1970s.
"Play is such an important part of getting children out and about, giving them experiences and challenging them," Skou said.
"The last playground was great in 1951, but it's come to the end of its life."
One of the final playground projects was a working bee, Skou said.
"We had 2100 plants and six trees to put in, and about 100 people turned up to help.
"It was amazing, we couldn't believe the community support. Hopefully it creates some kind of ownership as well because, at the end of the day, it is the community's playground.
"Hopefully people will say 'I planted these trees, so let's look after them'."
The playground's full name Te Āhuru Mōwai o Tutaeporoporo (the safe haven of Tutaeporoporo) was given by local mana whenua Ngā Wairiki and Ngāti Apa.
Tutaeporoporo is a Mokai to local iwi that is seen as a friend and guardian of southern Rangitīkei land, waterways and people.
Te Rūnanga o Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa also worked closely with the playground designers to develop artwork which told the tale of Tutaeporoporo, Skou said.
"The story of Tutaeporoporo has been weaved through the matting in certain areas of the playground, and there's an artwork on the fence that has been cut from Corten steel.
"It's just beautiful."
The final price tag for the project was $1.3 million, with some of the funds provided by JBS Dudding Trust, Whanganui Community Foundation and Four Regions Trust, along with multiple fundraising efforts by Skou and her team.
"If we didn't have a generous local donor too, we'd still be fundraising," Skou said.
"We're incredibly lucky that they saw the benefit of this project and wanted to be part of it. They wanted to do it for our children and our community."
With Te Āhuru Mōwai about to open, Skou said upgrading the Marton velodrome might be her next project.
"I was motivated by Pania [Wallace-Hemopo] and Ray [Hemopo], who did the skatepark here in Marton, so maybe someone will be inspired by what we've done with the playground and tackle something of their own as well."
Te Āhuru Mōwai o Tutaeporoporo will officially open at 10am on Saturday, April 17.