By DIANE R. CHODAN
OBSERVER Staff Writer
LILY DALE - Many volunteer hours and months of planning went into the refurbishment of "Children's Acre," the playground at Lily Dale. Recently the volunteers came back together for a ribbon-cutting and reception in celebration of a job well-begun but not entirely done.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Part of the new playground space is a natural play area. Seen here are left to right: are Elizabeth Burridge, Isabella Reuther, and Ava Burridge playing on a natural walkway made from sections of a tree that grew behind the Lily Dale Bookstore. The tree had to be taken down, but material from it was used for a number of areas that encourage creative play.
"The mission of the committee is to improve the space for Lily Dale's children and visitors and to make the Children's Acre into a safe, attractive, and fun place for children and families," Chairperson of the Lily Dale Children's Committee Willa White said.
The refurbishment project included digging out the old wood chips, laying down commercial grade weed barrier, and putting down new wood chips to the correct safety depth; painting the old playground equipment, and replacing hardware, bolts, and swing chains.
"As you can see from the fresh silver paint to the shiny chains this has happened - thanks to many volunteers from the Lily Dale community and the Cassadaga Job Corps, and the Lily Dale maintenance crew. Monetary donations from various individuals and the Lily Dale Assembly have gone toward purchase of new swing chains, new bouncy animals, new sports equipment and other improvements," White said.
Certificates of appreciation for the student volunteers from Cassadaga Job Corps were given to their instructors. Community members applauded the students for the service they provided.
"We hope that you understand how your service to this community has helped to create a wonderful and safe space for children. And we wish you all the best in your future endeavors," said White.
White, Lynn Wiltsie, president of the Lily Dale Assembly, and Susan Glasier, executive director of the Lily Dale Assembly cut the ribbon that was placed between the see-saws in the playground area. Afterwards, the volunteers and community members enjoyed refreshments in the Andrew Jackson Davis Lyceum building. Those attending the celebration could visit each section of the playground. Balloons marked the areas where work was done and a sheet detailed what was done and who helped.
The Children's Committee wants to make additional improvements including restoration of the basketball court, the volleyball court and the ball field. They also want to add more play elements for children.
The committee has the following wish list:
Sports equipment - volleyball, basketball and softball/baseball
Restoration of basketball court surface and new basketball posts
Restoration of volleyball court surface
Restoration of Baseball field
New volleyball net
New bouncy spring riders
Kompan spica Spinner
Larger play equipment for ages 5-12 and 8-16
To discuss arrangements, contact the Children's Committee chairperson, White at 595-3755.
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