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MACIE'S PLACE

7/28/2022 | KEITH O'CONNOR

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Kids are making a “big splash” at the new Macie’s Place at Field Road Park in Somers, CT, thanks to a couple wanting to give back to a community who gave them so much in their time of need.

Macie’s Place is a splash pad, which had its grand opening on July 8, that is operated by the Somers Recreation Department and offers a fun and cooling experience on some of the hottest days of summer.

It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but closes from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. to accommodate the Recreation Department’s Day Camp during July and August.

In December 2007, Wendy and Bill McCloskey lost their daughter Macie Grace to Trisomy 13 when she was just six days old.

Trisomy 13 is a chromosomal condition associated with severe intellectual disability and physical abnormalities in many parts of the body. Due to the presentation of several life-threatening medical problems, many infants with Trisomy 13 die within their first days or weeks of life.

“Little by little, we just wanted to do something for the town because the town was just amazing when we went through this,” Wendy stated on the Recreation Department’s website.

So, the couple approached the Somers Recreation Department with a vision to bring a splash pad to Somers.

“The community - friends, teachers, classmates, kids Bill coached and so many others - were very supportive and kind to Wendy throughout her pregnancy and to the couple when Macie died,” said Maureen Parsell, Director of Recreation and Leisure Services for the Town of Somers, who noted they felt a strong connection to the town and wanted to “give back” for the amazing support they received during their time of grief.

Parsell noted the concrete base of the splash pad is painted purple and pink in the form of a butterfly, which incorporates the Macie’s Place logo.

“The butterfly celebrates Macie’s life and the spirit of levity and play. The color purple has special significance because Macie had a purple outfit on after she was born which brought her great joy,” Parsell said.

“The biggest and most popular feature that kids just love is a palm tree that shoots water out of the top, flowers that also shoot out water, cascading water tables, a foaming geyser, and a water jelly spray loop,” she added.

For safety’s sake, it is suggested that no running, rough-housing or jumping be allowed in the splash pad area. Also, water shoes are highly recommended because the splash pad surface can become slippery when wet.

Not far from Macie’s Place, also in Field Road Park, is yet another memorial in memory of a little Somers boy who died of cancer. Connor's Place, a boundless playground, was constructed in honor of Connor Swan, who died at age 5 in 2003. Boundless playgrounds are barrier-free playgrounds where children with and without disabilities can play alongside one
another.

Opened in 2007, the playground was constructed with an initial donation of $50,000 that the Swans raised through a memorial fund soon after Connor's death, as well as other fundraising efforts by the Somers Playground Advisory Committee. The committee also helped orchestrate the design along with a national non-profit foundation promoting the building of boundless playgrounds.

It features two playscapes, one for children under the age of 5 and the other larger area for children ages 5 and up. A recycled rubberized surface creates a safe play environment for kids of all ages. Connor's Place includes wheelchair accessible ramps, high back swings with seatbelts, several rock climbing walls and slides, elevated sand tables, sandbox (bring your own toys), benches and more.

There is also a pavilion at Connor's Place which can be rented for birthday parties, family events, or business outings. It features several picnic tables, a charcoal grill, electrical outlets, and nearby restrooms, basketball court and volleyball court.

BOTH MACIE’S PLACE AND CONNOR’S PLACE ARE
LOCATED AT 96 FIELD ROAD IN SOMERS, CT.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FACILITIES AND
PROGRAMS OFFERED BY SOMERS RECREATION & LEISURE
SERVICES, CALL 860-265-3840 OR
VISIT SOMERS.RECDESK.COM.

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