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Butterfly Park is much more than a playground

During the recent winter break, the spring-like temperatures got us outside. It was gorgeous and so much fun. Cabin fever was beginning to set in, so the sunshine was a breath of fresh air. Friends invited us on a play-date to check out the park at Wales Primary School.We had never been to Butterfly Park (4650 Woodchuck Road, East Aurora) and were happy to check it out.

What an amazing playground. It's big, with loads of slides, swings and climbing thingies. There are seesaws, monkey bars and rock walls galore. So much to do. A huge xylophone and drums that will surely be instrumental in bringing big fun to the little ones. It was great. But, there was something special about that playground. The view is stunning, overlooking the hills and valleys that the school and playground back up to. Simply gorgeous. My girls had a very nice time. There was plenty for Emma, 5 and Ella, 2, to do. There were about a dozen other kids there, too.

There's plenty to do at the playground at Butterfly Park. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

Honestly, it was one of the nicest playgrounds we've ever been to. It's colorful and so much fun. But, there was something else. It was very peaceful. I thought maybe it was the view, but I couldn't be sure. My baby kept going back to this beautiful butterfly sculpture she seemed to love. While we were there, my friend talked about the inspiration for the beautiful butterflies. She told me the playground and sports facilities were built in memory of a little girl who died tragically. I thought about it the entire time we were there.

The kids had a blast and I enjoyed the view. (Mary Friona-Celani/Special to The News)

When we got home from the park, I looked up the story. It all sounded familiar, but I wanted to know more about this little girl who loved butterflies. So, I googled it. The first thing that came up was this line:

Katherine Elizabeth Durkin February 23rd 2006 - July 7th 2015.

I looked at my phone and realized that it was actually Feb. 23. Of all the days to go to this park - we went on what would have been Katie Durkin's 11th birthday.

Maybe, that's why it felt so peaceful. I'm not sure, but it's what I'd like to believe.

Katie Durkin was 9 when she died, the playground is a beautiful way to remember her spirit. (Picture courtesy of the Durkin Family)

Katie Durkin was a beautiful little girl. Butterfly Park, built in her memory, is beautiful, too. Beautiful, peaceful and fun. You can't go during the school day, but put the idea in your back pocket for after-school, weekends or holidays. You will love it. Your kids will, too. Bring a picnic and eat under the pavilion, then let your kids run wild as you watch them and take in the beautiful view and remember a beautiful little girl.


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