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Greenburgh Nature Center Offers Playground Oasis

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Greenburgh parents now have "an oasis of green space," as Sara Cashen calls it, for their children.

The Greenburgh Nature Center , 99 Dromore Road, celebrated the grand opening of its new discovery playground on Sunday. The playground meets Greenburgh's need of a safe outdoor play area for children, said Sara Cashen, the center's director of finance and development.

"This has been a long time coming, and I'm really excited to share it with the community," said Cashen, who has been coordinating the playground's construction since 2007.

The Town of Greenburgh contributed to almost half of the playground's budget when fundraising began in 2009, with corporate and private donors pitching in the rest of the years, Cashen said.

The playground is nestled quietly in the Nature Center's woody grounds. Other local play areas are usually near busy roads. The Nature Center location is a relief for Cena Hampden, who brought her granddaughter Simone Taylor, 2, to the playground on Monday.

"I think it's wonderful. I love the setting — no roads, no traffic," Hampden said. "We've been watching it as they built, waiting for it to open."

The playground is the second part of the center's master plan to restore and enhance its programs. Its first major project was the Barnyard Exhibit, which opened in May 2010. Next, the Nature Center will take on building a sustainable schoolhouse — a place to hold education programs using sustainable building techniques and materials like a green roof.

The playground is free and open to the public, and is open every day from dawn till dusk.

"We all need more opportunities to unplug and connect with nature," Cashen said.

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