Discovery at Cascades Park Marks First Year

Mar 9, 2015

Tallahassee’s Cascades Park features a family play area called “Discovery” that’s become one of the park’s most popular places.  That will be the site of a big first anniversary celebration this coming Saturday.

The main entrance to Discovery at Cascades Park

It’s been one year since Discovery at Cascades Park had its grand opening and business has been brisk ever since.

“Discovery’s always packed out.  There’s always families and kids hanging out and taking advantage of that, which was a big win for the community.  But the wonderful thing is, Discovery was an afterthought,” said Cecilia Homison, CEO of Tallahassee’s First Commerce Credit Union.  That organization became Discovery’s prime sponsor.   Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer said that turned what had been a “wouldn’t it be nice” concept into reality.

“The Knight Creative Communities Institute made a recommendation because they saw this huge hole in the park, which was, ‘What are kids going to do here?’  And when the park was originally designed, we didn’t want swing sets, merry go-rounds and things of that nature,” Ziffer said.  Discovery visitors frolic on its Cypress Climb, Steephead Slide and Log Jump, explore its Butterfly and Infiltration gardens, soak up the fun in the Interactive Water and Beach Sand areas and learn new stuff in the Outdoor Classroom.

“It’s a very naturalized habitat.  They brought in the cypress tree stumps and they brought in things that are interactive with the kids that they wouldn’t find in a regular playground, like the water pumps and so it was very carefully thought out as to what value it could bring back to the families,” Homison said.

Ziffer called it a showcase for how the public and private sectors can work together to create something really special.  And he applauds First Commerce’s ongoing commitment to making the space even more attractive.

“So they stepped forward and have donated – I think it’s almost done – is a sculpture that will go up in Discovery.  And these are things that say to visitors in our community when they come to visit that art’s important to this area.”

That’s soon to come, but in the meantime, Homison said it’s time to celebrate what’s been done so far.

“It’s March 14th from 2 until 5, First Commerce invites the community to come out and celebrate the one-year anniversary of Discovery.  We’re partnering up with Esposito’s and will be doing gardening workshops, it’s a great time to start thinking about that and we’ll have a lot of family-friendly activities,” Homison said, adding those activities are what Discovery at Cascades Park specializes in.