Just two years ago, the imminent demise in New Milford of a beloved wooden playscape called the Creative Playground was nearly universally mourned as the end of a wonderful era.

Fast forward to last Saturday... another era has now dawned.

Thanks to the leadership of the Parks & Recreation Department and the New Milford Recreation Association, and courtesy of more than $117,000 in community donations, a spanking new playground is open featuring a series of ramps, stairs, heavy plastic slides, climbing nets, a faux-rock climbing wall, merry-go-round, and swings.

Countless children will frolic for many years to come on the brand new playground, located on the same site adjacent to Pettibone School along Pickett District Road.

"What an amazing town we live in,'' Beth Falder, one of the founders of the New Milford Recreation Association, which promoted the playground project, said during the winter as the playground was being constructed by Creative Recreation of West Hartford.

"The support of the New Milford community to provide its children with fun and safe recreational facilities is truly extraordinary," she added.

-- Norm Cummings