When it came time to celebrate her 10th birthday, Bella Stefanowicz didn’t ask for toys or video games.
Instead, the fifth-grader at Haine Middle School requested donations for the Cranberry Kids Castle Playground—and wound up raising $600.
“She was really excited about it,” said Bella’s mom, Lisa Stefanowizc.
Joined by Supervisor Chairman Bruce Mazzoni and other Cranberry officials, Bella was on hand at Thursday’s dedication ceremony at Community Park to cut the ribbon marking the official opening of the Kids Castle Playground.
“Children will enjoy this playground for decades to come,” said Supervisor Mike Manipole, who emceed Thursday’s ceremony.
The Kids Castle replaces the 22-year-old Playtime Palace. The wooden structure was torn down in April, with some of the material being repurposed into the new playground.
The Kids Castle consists of three thematic play areas—Cranberry Yesterday, Cranberry Today and Cranberry Tomorrow.
Celebrating Cranberry’s agricultural history, the past section includes swings, climbing spaces, rolling hills and spring-mounted riding animals.
The present area, which was designed with help from local students and built by community volunteers, includes a clock tower and a variety of slides.
As for the future, that section has mobius climbers, a bubble rider and more.
“It looks fantastic and I hope it’s here for years and years and years,” said Butler County Commissioner Dale Pinkerton, who spoke at Thursday's ceremony.
Township residents, local businesses and the nonprofit Cranberry Township Community Chest helped finance the $500,000 playground. The Cranberry CUP organization also contributed $175,000 towards the project.
The playground also includes new restrooms, picnic benches and tables and stepping stones honoring donors to the playground.
Click on the gallery above to check out photos from Thursday’s dedication ceremony.