New Playground Gets Old Fashioned Blessing

Thursday, September 16th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Playgrounds are important places. That's why Tulsa's School of Saint Mary held a special ceremony Thursday to bless their new place to play. The school raised half the funds for the grounds, and some Tulsa businesses helped with labor and supplies.

Monsignor Dennis Dorney spoke about the importance of sound physical bodies for service to God and others. Then he sprinkled holy water over the spot where hundreds of children will run and play in years to come.

The playground is geared toward older children. It doesn't look like those of times past. There are no monkey bars or slides, for a reason. "Nowadays, you don't have the swings, you don't have the merry-go-rounds, because those things are not considered as safe," said pre-school director Carla Lechner. "You can have swings, but you have to have a really large area because kids run in front of them." Lechner says playground design also incorporates the latest in brain research, physical fitness and socialization.

St. Mary's students say the new stuff is more fun. "I like this playground because you have more action," said student Peter Swiatek. "You have more room to run." Educators say that is more important than ever, as children spend more time indoors, in organized sports or doing homework. St. Mary's parents and teachers wanted the new playground to encourage free play.