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A Day to Play

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
October 15, 2008

No child left inside. Students and teachers at UNH’s Child Study and Development Center listen at the dedication of their natural playground.
No child left inside. Students and teachers at UNH’s Child Study and Development Center listen at the dedication of their natural playground..

New Hampshire first lady Dr. Susan Lynch joined several dozen preschoolers, as well as leaders from UNH and around the state, at the official opening of the UNH Child Study and Development Center’s new natural playground on Monday.

“This playground is really gorgeous. It’s an ideal setting for kids to play and learn and develop an appreciation for the environment,” said Lynch, a pediatrician and advocate for children’s fitness and nutrition.

“While physical activity is important, it’s outdoor physical activity that is really important” for emotional, physical and educational benefits,” she added, recalling her own childhood spent climbing, digging, playing in mud, and building forts and tree houses.

CSDC kindergarteners present Dr. Susan Lynch with a gift, as CHHS dean Barbara Arrington looks on.
CSDC kindergarteners present Dr. Susan Lynch with a gift, as CHHS dean Barbara Arrington looks on.

President Mark Huddleston introduced Lynch, suggesting to the CSDC students assembled on the playground’s natural amphitheater that perhaps some of them would like to trade places with him for the day. Tom Kelly, UNH chief sustainability officer, made remarks that linked the new playground to UNH’s broader sustainability mission.

CSDC executive director John Nimmo points out features of the new natural playground.
CSDC executive director John Nimmo points out features of the new natural playground.

Following the speeches, a pair of kindergarteners presented Lynch with a book, “C Is for CSDC,” and several others helped her with a formal ribbon-cutting. As CSDC executive director John Nimmo toured the playground with Lynch, the children sprung from the ground to “demonstrate” the playground’s many features.

Also in attendance were Barbara Arrington, dean of the College of Health and Human Services; associate professor and chair of family studies Liz Dolan; Marjorie Smith, Naida Kaen, and Mary Stuart Gile from the state legislature; Ron King, president of the Natural Playgrounds Company; and representatives from the UNH Parents Association and the UNH Foundation, both of which provided funding for the playground, along with the NH Community Loan Foundation in partnership with the HNHfoundation.

No running with scissors! Dr. Lynch gets help cutting the ribbon to the CSDC’s new natural playground.
No running with scissors! Dr. Lynch gets help cutting the ribbon to the CSDC’s new natural playground.

To read more about the new playground go to http://unh.edu/news/campusjournal/2008/Oct/08play.cfm.  

 


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