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CCH to celebrate opening of new Windy Willow Playscape

— Cazenovia Children's House will hold a celebration to mark the completion of the Windy Willow Playscape at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 2757 Route 20 East in Cazenovia. This marks the finish of a three-year initiative to transform the playground for preschoolers and school age children into an outdoor classroom.

The Windy Willow Playscape started with an on-site design workshop with Rusty Keeler. Keeler consults with school and community groups around the world and authored “Natural Playspaces: Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul.” He facilitated a group of CCH staff, parents and board members to create a design specifically for the Route 20 facility.

The design incorporated the wide range of developmental stages and interests of the children and was based by current research in the benefits of outdoor education. Key components were the use of local materials and community skills and resources.

“We were interested in providing a natural playscape that provides hills, pathways, trees, sand, water, plants and music so that children have many different opportunities to create, pretend, move and discover throughout the seasons,” said Penny Noll, CCH executive director.

Scott Shannon, dean of the Graduate School of SUNY ESF and parent of a CCH alum, converted the sketch of the playground to a detailed blueprint that showed the topography, trees and design elements.

“The design was very exciting to everyone and we were so appreciative of the quick and generous response to the project and to our annual appeal to provide a unique and memorable play environment for our community,” said Nicki Donlin, CCH board president.

The opening celebration of the Windy Willow Playscape will highlight and thank the dozens of individuals and businesses that contributed to the project. The Playscape will be open to explore and enjoy during the evening. A dinner picnic will be held during the celebration.

For more information call 655-5437.

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