Cheryl Dinolfo, county executive, recently joined Monroe County Parks Department, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Parks Advisory Committee and Barton and Loguidice in cutting the ribbon on the new Lilac Adventure Zone in Highland Park.
Lilac Adventure Zone features a lilac grove that complies with federal Americans with Disabilities Act access guidelines, green parking lot improvements, casual-use picnic shelters and the region’s largest nature play area.
“For decades, families have come to Highland Park to enjoy time together, whether it is catching a show at the Highland Bowl, visiting the Lamberton Conservatory, going on a walk or smelling the lilacs at our Lilac Festival,” Dinolfo said. “The new Lilac Adventure Zone, featuring the region’s largest designed nature play area, gives families one more reason to come out to Highland Park.”
For over 60 years, the CCE building occupied the location of the newly developed nature area of the Lilac Adventure Zone. Recycled timbers and rocks from Monroe County parks were reconditioned and used in the construction of the park’s nature play area. The addition of a willow tree adds to the natural feel of the play space.
The expansion of the lilac collection and its incorporation into the design of the Lilac Adventure Zone allows for a handicapped-accessible area. Other design features include picnic shelters, paved pathways for walkability and a green parking lot that features rain gardens to collect water from the parking area and pavilion roofs.
Lilac Adventure Zone furthers the county’s effort to use innovative methods and natural resources. This was implemented in Abraham Lincoln Park in the town of Penfield, where the county built a nature play area. These areas allow children to play in a setting that is not built with man-made materials, providing a real outdoor experience with health, psychological and cognitive benefits.
Lilac Adventure Zone is part of the 2017 Highland Park South Master Plan Update, which included the creation of an outdoor nature space within the character and park design principles of Frederick Law Olmsted.