RANDOLPH – A new playground celebrating a historic discovery in the Town of Randolph is coming to fruition.
Back in 2019, the Randolph Area Community Development Cooperation, best known locally as RADC, first started working on plans to build the new play structure at Weeden Park.
After a slight hiatus during the pandemic, the group’s plans are finally coming to life.
“The town was looking to doing something with the tennis courts, they had been decapitated and not used in many, many years,” explained Deb Miller, Director of RADC. “So, the Kaboom Design Challenge came about, and I looked into it, and actually disused doing something with the Mammoth, because I’ve always been obsessed, kind of, with the Randolph Mammoth.”
The Randolph Mammoth, one of the most complete examples of its species ever discovered in New York state, was found in May 1934 while workers were building a pond for the State Fish Hatchery.
“We have the rickety bridge, which will be a very fun thing, we have the big log which they (area kids) can crawl through,” said Julie Milliman, RADC Board President. “We have the fossils, that they will play on.”
“The initial concept was based on off of the Randolph Mammoth, so we have a fossil of a Mammoth that will be laid in the ground,” continued Miller.
Even though construction is now complete, the play space won’t officially open just yet.
“Were going to have a ribbon cutting for it, and invite some of the members of the families from when the Mammoth was discovered,” explained Miller.
“We also have to wait for the cement to cure, before anyone can be on it,” furthered Milliman.
The new play space was made possible thanks to a $75,000 grant from Kaboom, a non-profit dedicated to helping communities build playgrounds for kids.
Sign markers created by students at Randolph High School will also be on display once the playground officially opens, documenting the Mammoth’s history.
Additionally, you can see the artifacts for yourself in person at the Cattaraugus County Historical Museum in Machias where the Mammoth is on display.