NEW FAIRFIELD – A new playground will be opening this week in New Fairfield. The community playground, which has been specifically designed for toddlers and preschoolers, has been added to the location where most of the youngest youth sports are played in town, between the upper and lower multipurpose fields behind the high school.
Harry Allison, New Fairfield Soccer Club fundraising coordinator, explained that the need for a playground was identified by soccer parents, stating “…in the past children would be found climbing on fences, trees, and other sport equipment.” Now, however, the playground will provide “a safe place to play.” Allison also commented on the maintenance-free playground’s construction, “It has a poured rubber base which actually bounces when you walk on it.”
Parents expect that the playground will get a lot of use on Saturday mornings, as Allison pointed out that this is “…when the soccer club holds their games for their in-house program for players from 3 to 8 years old.” It is anticipated that the playground will also “greatly benefit the high school’s child development program, providing a safe place for preschoolers to play that is close to the high school,” according to Allison.
Allison described the process that brought the playground to fruition, noting that it “took 2-1/2 years to complete, from initial concept, to getting school and town approvals to fundraising and finally construction.” Truly a group effort, he said that “New Fairfield Soccer Club did most of the heavy lifting for the project but New Fairfield Baseball, Falcons Football, and New Fairfield Lacrosse all assisted in fundraising efforts.” In addition, Marty Morgan and New Fairfield Lacrosse provided the site work for the new playground.
Financially, the playground was a community effort. Local businesses and groups, such as Union Savings Bank, Stop & Shop, and NF Lions Club, generously donated funds and there were extensive student and sports club fundraising efforts in place leading up to the playground’s installation. In all, the total cost was $40K for the playground.
There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new playground this Saturday, September 8th at 8:30am.
By Sarah Opdahl