Viera East Woodside Park Nature Playground opened to the public  following a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a chilly Jan. 29 at the children’s park at 1705 Crane Creek Blvd.

Children scrambled across the park after Mark and Tetiana Pieloch, whose donations supported the playground and nearby Pieloch Dog Park Viera East, snipped a ribbon with scissors.

Built on land owned by the Viera East Community Development District, the new playground west of Murrell Road consists of two man-made hills connected by a bridge over an artificial stream. Children can explore Hobbit Hill, which has a tunnel that leads to a spider pit made of ropes. 

Kids can enjoy swings, a 7-foot double slide and rock climb, and jump from a stump from a large tree that was struck by lightning and repurposed for the park. 

Melbourne City Council member Tim Thomas praised local businessmen who offered their free time  and expertise working at the playground during the past 18 months and guiding hundreds of volunteers who helped with the project.

“I've never seen a more dedicated group of men who love people and also love the community that they live in,” he said. 

Thomas also recognized the efforts of volunteers, including Viera High School’s Army JROTC cadets who “provided critical manpower to get this park finished.” 

The ceremony also featured food trucks, vendors, ice cream, face painting and balloon art.