in Malta, a play paradise in the park

What could be better on a Monday morning than testing out new playground equipment with a pack of your friends?

Kids in day camp programs with the Malta Recreation Commission did just that early Monday, July 2, at Shenentaha Park. There are 90 camp counselors and a record 500 kids enrolled in this summer's program.

Town of Malta officials spoke just a few words as they cut the red, white and blue ribbons on the plastic fencing signaling playtime for the children.

I've talked with a lot of mothers, and they all say what they like best is the canopies for shade, said town Supervisor Paul Sausville.

The children had to wait just moments before bursting into the cedar wood-based play area.

"This is all for you kids," said councilman Cliff Lange.

The enormous structures, sheltered by three large blue umbrellas, include swings, slides, ramps, monkey bars, steering wheels and just about anything else that can be climbed on, crawled through or spun. A big boat-shaped structure called "sway fun" gives as many as eight kids at a time a chance to rock back and forth until they're dizzy. A huge red rope pyramid, looking much like a spider web, entices kids to clamber their way to the top.

Tyler Ross of Malta made it to the pinnacle first, making him official king of the hill. "I knew something great was going to happen today, but I didn't know it would be this," said Ross. "This is actually better than I thought."


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