In mid-August, Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society hosted the ribbon cutting for the new Rita (Fredenhagen) and John Harvard Early Learning Playscape.
While Councilmen Doug Krause and Judy Brodhead cut the ribbon to open the Splash Pad, the family of Rita and John Harvard watched along with more than 150 friends in attendance. Several days later on Aug. 17, the play area with 10,000 square feet of activities opened to the public.
The fun features of the Playscape include Naperville’s only Splash Pad complete with water jets and water vessels, a fort-themed playground, trading post, animal track path and more hands-on activities to engage youngsters in wonder and learning.
No one will deny the cool water jets attracted the most attention during the first week of play for early learners, but even when temperatures drop, other areas such as the “trading post” are sure to be fun ways to learn through play.
Many physical activities will be available while parents and caregivers observe their young learners interacting and engaging in play throughout the area formerly known as Fort Payne at Naper Settlement.
The Playscape will be open during regular Summer Season hours from April 1 – October 31. Hours are 10AM-4PM Tuesday-Saturday, 1-4PM Sunday, Closed on Mondays.
In addition to the generous gift from Rita (Fredenhagen) and John Harvard, the Playscape has been funded by the City of Naperville’s Special Events and Cultural Amenities Fund (SECA) and the Capital Improvement Program, the Naperville Park District, along with donations from individuals and families. The design is by Hitchcock Design Group and Wight & Co. The general contractor is Kee Construction of Chicago.
The Early Learning Playscape already has teamed up with creative folks from the DuPage Children’s Museum to collaborate on a special day just for youngsters, one of many events likely to welcome families to learn about this generous community in the future.
A story is posted online with additional photographs that helps chronicle the project since it was first announced at the end of 2013. Simply visit www.positivelynaperville.com and use the “Search for Something” tool. Search for “Playscape.”
One good apple pie baker!
The winners in Naper Settlement’s third annual Apple Pie Baking Contest were recognized during festivities at the Hometown Picnic on Aug. 9.
As easy as pie, Naper Settlement President and CEO Rena Tamayo-Calabrese announced that Kay Slocumb’s French Apple Crumb Pie, Number 5, was the blue-ribbon winner, coming in first place. Second place went to Jennifer Walters,
Number 8, for her “Single Crust Dutch Apple Pie.” And third place was presented to Donna Di Cosola, Number 2, for her “Sue’s Apple Pie.” The People’s Choice was baked by 7-year-old Hunter Ernst, Number 3.
Coring forward, as apple season ripens this autumn, take advantage of the opportunity to practice apple pie recipes for next summer’s Hometown Picnic.
As leaves change color and Playscape water splashes are turned off for the season, there are still plenty of events planned for fall at the Settlement including the Harvest Pow Wow, Sept. 20 and 21; Oktoberfest, Oct. 4 and 5; and the ever scary All Hallow’s Eve, Oct. 17 and 18.
For upcoming events and activities at the Settlement, visit www.napersettlement.com.