State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing she has secured $50,000 for the LaFargeville Central School District’s new playground. The funding helps cover the cost of the purchase and installation of the playground.
In addition to the $50,000 for the playground, Senator Ritchie secured $20,000 for the school to buy and install a new marquee, which keeps the community informed about district events.
In 2017, Senator Ritchie has made it a priority to encourage children to put down the electronics and get back outdoors—promoting healthy activity and allowing imaginations to run wild. This new playground will allow students and families in the LaFargeville community to do just that.
This playground is also a perfect example of community members helping one another. A local organization—led by retired LaFargeville Elementary Principal Anita James—raised $10,000 for the project from the local community. Nearly two dozen Fort Drum soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment also pitched in, spending countless hours in the pouring rain and mud to help the school with the installation of the playground.
“As a mother and grandmother, I understand how important playgrounds like these are. They are places our students can get outside and be active during the school day, and a gathering spot for families to spend quality time together,” Senator Ritchie said. “The fact that so many people were willing—and determined—to make this happen is what makes this playground even more special. When you add in the contributions of Fort Drum, this is a true community project the entire North Country can be proud of.”
“Knowing that I can now head outside and see so many students being active and having fun, brings a smile to my face. In fact, this playground will bring many smiles to many faces in the coming years,” LaFargeville Superintendent Travis Hoover said. “I cannot thank Senator Ritchie enough for helping make this possible for our students and families.”
Back in September, Senator Ritchie’s bill directing the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Health to study and develop a long-term strategy on outdoor environmental education and recreation was signed into law. That study will include child obesity rates, economic trends and their impact on access to outdoor spaces, as well as other factors.