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Town of Lewiston officially opens new playground at Kiwanis Park

by jmaloni
Sat, Oct 2nd 2010 11:25 am
The Town of Lewiston held a grand re-opening of the playground at Kiwanis Park on Sept. 25. Shown at the ribbon cutting of the new, state-of-the-art facilities were assorted local elected officials; members of the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston; Courtney Corbetta, newly crowned Peach Queen; and a host of area families and children.
The Town of Lewiston held a grand re-opening of the playground at Kiwanis Park on Sept. 25. Shown at the ribbon cutting of the new, state-of-the-art facilities were assorted local elected officials; members of the Kiwanis Club of Lewiston; Courtney Corbetta, newly crowned Peach Queen; and a host of area families and children.
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Saturday, Sept. 25, marked a rebirth in Lewiston recreation offerings, as town officials and guests cut the ribbon to open a brand-new playground at Kiwanis Park in the Town of Lewiston.

Constructed over past months by town highway crews, the project replaced an outdated facility and was funded by Niagara River Greenway Commission monies. The result is a spanking new facility more than triple the size of the old playground with added safety surfacing and better equipment. The playground got off to a great start last Saturday as about 100 children and parents attended the celebration, complete with hot dogs, balloons and face painters.

Councilman Mike Marra served as master of ceremonies. "As a Town Board member and liaison to Parks and Recreation, I couldn't think of a better use for Greenway funding than this project," Marra stated.

State Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte applauded the playground as exactly the type of project that the Greenway funds were set aside for. "As your representative to the New York State Assembly, I co-sponsored the bill creating the Niagara River Greenway Commission for this type of use. The children in our community deserve to have the best in safety and fun!"

Supervisor Steve Reiter expressed complete satisfaction with the project. "I sure wish that when I was a kid that we had a cool place like this!" exclaimed Reiter. "But certainly the next best thing is being able to vote to approve a project like this, that will allow all of our children and grandchildren to play and enjoy themselves in a safe and incredibly fun atmosphere."

Reiter turned to the children on hand and asked, "Isn't this park great?" All answered an emphatic "yes."

"My daughter loves it here, and it's just an unbelievable upgrade from what was here," said Kate Chilberg, whose daughter Olivia is a frequent park attendee.

Mike Dashineau, director of Parks and Recreation, reported the project started with complete removal of the old playground, built in 1995. "At the time it was built, the playground served the needs of the immediate community. As population grew with new houses being built around the park, the playground became outdated. In its place, the Town of Lewiston constructed a new playground divided into four areas."

  • The first area is dubbed the "school-age area" and has moderately difficult climbing walls, steep slides, and challenging pathways. This area alone doubled the size of the old playground, Dashineau noted.
  • The second section is the "pathway." It consists of a handicapped-accessible area, which features a mechanical sand digger pit and a row of percussion instruments that can be used to "jam" out on.
  • The third section is the "preschool" section. It's intended to separate the smallest users from others and features less challenging climbs and shorter slides. "Designed for ages 2-6, it's an area that parents with younger children can feel safe at," says Dashineau.

He reports the town added new, state-of-the-art rubber safety surfaces to all of the playground area as well. "While providing an effective and even layer of safety, this surface also allowed the town to keep the natural trees and shade that cover the park. Previously, the town used specially designed safety wood chips for the surface of the playground. However, the trees in the area, with constant shedding of branches, leaves and debris, reduced the effectiveness of the wood chips and its ability to provide a ‘soft landing.' "

  • The fourth section is the brand-new multi-use court. Dashineau said the town acted on suggestions from both tennis and roller hockey players, as both groups were forced to share an area before construction of the multi-use court. He said the court is now separated from the tennis courts and has height-adjustable basketball hoops, as well as lines and nets for roller hockey. "The court is also sealed with a compound specially made for court sports that increases grip and reduces sliding. That means no more slippery tennis courts for roller hockey players."
The park is now open for use.

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