The Ithaca YMCA set out this spring to raise money to build a new playground for the community, and this weekend they'll unveil the results as part of a Community Fun Fair. The free event is this Saturday, August 23rd, from 10am to 2:30pm.
Artist's rendering of the new YMCA playground. Image provided by YMCA of Ithaca and Tompkins County.YMCA associate executive director Teresa Morehouse says the YMCA's members had clamored for an outdoor play area for years, and they've worked with Parkitects for two years to come up with a feasible solution for a non-profit to afford. A crowdfunding effort conducted earlier this year raised over $10,000 towards anticipated expenses.
Before the new playground was built, Morehouse told 14850 Magazine, "children run around and staff act as human barriers to prevent children from running into the parking lot," Morehouse says. The area currently has a few plastic toys and a sandbox. "The new area is intended to have fence, ground cover, and at least 3 large structures/toys suitable for ages 3-5 and up," she says.
Members, non-members, and everyone in the community will have access to the new playground, Morehouse tells us. "A project like this would be tangible and fun for our community, and would have a large backing of community members and YMCA members alike."
The Y received an initial donation of $6,000 from Cargill, Incorporated to cover the costs of a fence and ground cover, and much of the construction work was done by volunteers from Cargill and the YMCA membership, and from a base of volunteers that frequently helps with projects, including students and retired community members.
The playground will be unveiled at noon on Saturday, with a dedication and ribbon cutting. The day will also feature games and other activities for kids, live performances, a pool party, and door prizes. Because the Y has an indoor gym, the event will take place rain or shine. It's free and open to the public, at the YMCA on North Triphammer Road near the Shops at Ithaca Mall.