Children of all ages, Buster the Clown and excited volunteers, family and friends gathered Saturday at the new Weissport Playground to formally dedicate the play space.

The new playground has been open for use since last fall, but the formal ribbon cutting celebration was reserved until the grant funds were received and the playground was inspected and approved by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Along with the ribbon cutting, Mayor Jonathan Troutman unveiled the new signs that thank the volunteers and DCNR.

Linda Shoenberger, a member of Weissport Recreation Committee (formerly known as Concerned Citizens of Weissport) was the spokesman for the event. She thanked everyone for their donations, support and help in building the playground.

CCOW had spent countless hours making food, hosting yard sales and other events to raise funds for the playground. Their hard work paid off when their $12,000 seed money was used in combination with a $48,000 grant from DCNR to have enough funds to purchase the playground equipment.

Building of the playground began October 2009 when volunteers worked in the rain and mud up to their knees to sink the supports. The new playground was built on the same lot that had been used as a playground for Weissport children since the 1940s. Much of the old playground equipment was considered unsafe by today's safety standards.

Also attending the dedication was Dennis DeMara, representing DCNR. DeMara had high praise for the core group of CCOW volunteers who continuously worked to raise the seed money to make the playground eligible for a grant.

"It wasn't easy for the group," said DeMara. "They did a great job. The old playground had used up it's life. It was old and needed to be replaced. Weissport is lucky to have a group of dedicated volunteers who worked so great together to get this project completed."

The new playground has the latest and safest equipment available and is also ADA (American Disabilities Act) approved. The playground was designed with children ages 5 to 12 in mind, but there also is an area for toddlers.

There are three brightly-colored slides, a climbing wall, chimes, bug panels, balconies, bounce buttons, a seesaw, a dino ride and flutter-by spring rider, a toss-up, swings with 10-inch high seats, two belted seats, a handicapped accessible seat and a tot seat. There will also be a picnic table for outdoor dining and a bench. The cost of the playground was $60,347. Concerned Citizens of Weissport raised $10,000 over the course of many years, plus the group received $2,000 from a donor who requested that the funds be used for recreation.