Cortland unveils new Suggett Park playground

CORTLAND, N.Y. — Friday marked the official opening of a brand new, ‘all-inclusive’ playground that was just built at Suggett Park, located across the street from Parker Elementary School.

The playground, which has been in the works for two years, was a collaborative effort of Cortland Common Council, the Cortland Youth Bureau, and Mayor Brian Tobin.

“This new playground is going to benefit many families here in Cortland,” said John McNerney, director of the Cortland Youth Bureau, during Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

John McNerney, director of the Cortland Youth Bureau (Hannah Bistocchi/Cortland Voice)

Through the combined efforts of Mayor Tobin and New York State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, the city received half a million dollars through a New York State Capital Improvement Grant.

The last major playground improvements in the City of Cortland were in 2001. Since then, the youth bureau, with the help of other community stakeholders, has been trying to improve different parks in Cortland. Recently, Dexter Park and Wickwire Pool saw dramatic improvements in their equipment and facilities, and both locations have seen an increase in attendance, according to the Cortland Youth Bureau.

The Youth Bureau presented Assemblywoman Lifton with an award for her efforts to bring funding to the Suggett Park playground project. Several others were recognized and thanked for their contributions to the park project, including: Dennis Gallagher, park maintenance staff; the City of Cortland Department of Public Works staff; Scott McKinney; Jerry Contento; and many others.

“I’m very excited about this new playground, not only as a mother but as the Cortland YWCA Bridges for Kids Director,” said Mindy Gardner. “As a mother, I’m excited that my child has a brand new playground to grow up on and love. As the Bridges for Kids Director, I’m excited our children will have a new, safe environment to play on.”