At Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, we know that play is crucial for human development, the growth of social skills, and a child’s self-confidence. When children are playing they are able to further develop language, symbolic thinking, social skills, and motor skills. The positive effects of play can be seen in all children, so it is important that play structures accommodate children of all abilities and developmental levels.
This is why we’re excited to announce our new Person Centered Services Community Treehouse – it will allow all children, regardless of their needs, to engage and play. Sponsored by Buffalo-based Person Centered Services, which manages care for about 17,000 people, the Community Treehouse will be the first indoor play area of its kind in our area.
The breathtaking design will immerse visitors into an intricately detailed WNY woodland with ADA compliant access points, including the wheelchair lift used to bring visitors with accessibility needs into the interior structure – design elements meant to ensure that no visitor feels segregated due to physical mobility constraints. All Museum visitors will be welcomed and able to use the Community Treehouse.
“The Treehouse will be an opportunity for everyone to play, to learn, and to grow,” said Bridget Bartolone, CEO of Person Centered Services. “Our goal with the Treehouse is to provide memorable, immersive learning experiences for all. It will provoke imagination, introduce unknown worlds and subject matter, and offer a unique environment for quality time with family and friends.”
Michelle Urbanczyk, CEO of Explore & More, said Person Centered Services’ mission lines up closely with the museum’s efforts around the exhibit and made them perfect partners.
“Person Centered Services’ employees link and connect people with disabilities to the services and activities they need and want to live a fulfilling life,” said Urbanczyk. “This, of course, includes socialization, play and learning – which definitely supports the objectives we set out to reach with the Treehouse. The exhibit will be up for a period of time, then be passed on to another location for children to enjoy for years to come. We are determined to play it forward, making it so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful exhibit!”
The Person Centered Services Community Treehouse, designed by Buffalo Treehouse, LLC, will be built inside Explore & More on the fourth floor. It is expected to open to the public in early 2020.