Neither a spate of vandalism attacks nor inclement weather could put a dampener on the "grand reveal" of Warilla Preschool's new outdoor play space yesterday.
A state government grant of $27,000 paid for it and South Coast company Auscape Landscaping built it - but it was the educators and children who designed, planted and nurtured it.
And it was the latter - along with the children's parents and carers - who had the biggest smiles on their faces at the centre yesterday morning.
Warilla Preschool and Occasional Care Centre director Carlie Page said while the mindless vandalism attacks, the most recent of which occurred on the weekend, had upset everyone, it was a day for celebration.
"The children are so proud of what they've helped create - and they're so excited to have their parents here to see it," she said.
"We've taken an area that was mostly concrete and created a space that the children can take ownership of and take care of themselves.
"It's a natural garden, with vegetable and strawberry patches, rock gardens, a tyre wall, a fish pond and worm farm.
"The children have helped make decorations and have planted the fruit and vegetables, and they love caring for the plants and creatures that form part of their preschool."
Ms Page said the project had taken three months, with the vandalism attacks causing setbacks.
"We had several vandalism attacks to the outdoor play area in January as we were nearing the final stages of the project and we even had one this weekend where they pulled out some plants," she said.
"But it isn't just what the vandals have done - they've scribbled graffiti, trampled our garden beds, ripped trees out and even broken toadstools made by the children - it's how they've made the children feel.
"We want them to know that they're hurting little children's feelings and making them feel upset and unsafe - we can't believe vandals would attack a play space created by children."
Ms Page said she hoped that now the children would be able to just enjoy what they've achieved.
"It's just a nice natural environment in which they will be able to to use their imaginations to create some wonderful play themes," she said.
"Of course it's also about teaching them to be sustainable and to be responsible for their environment.
"And they're already taking that on board - they use the water tank to fill their watering cans to water the garden; they love eating the strawberries growing in the strawberry patch and seeing the vegies grow."