Leah Vogel loved being outside.
She loved swings and sandboxes, birds and butterflies, and playing outside with her older brother and their dog.
The brighter the flower the better, and Leah loved to dance everywhere, too.
So after the Wrightsville 2-year-old died in a swimming pool last year, her family decided that constructing a playground in her memory would be a great way to honor her.
"It was something that I approached my niece with," said Leah's great-aunt, Marci Mowery.
Leah is the daughter of Michael and Stephanie Vogel of Wrightsville, and has one older brother, Devin, 11.
"I thought it would be a good way to recognize Leah's love of the outdoors and to try to bring something positive out of a bad time of our lives. She was a very happy girl," Mowery said.
Recent dedication: Construction on the playground in Samuel Lewis State Park began in June, and the playground was dedicated on July 14 - Leah's birthday.
The play area is located by the family pavilion in the park and includes a sandbox and an OmniSpin Spinner, which is a merry-go-round designed for children who use a wheelchair or walker, said Mowery, who is also the president of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.
Another area by the park's office is dedicated to Leah, with bucket swings that accommodate children with upper mobility challenges. Other features include a slide, fire pole, steering wheel, climbing rope and ladder.
Benches with Leah's name on them were constructed by her cousin, Evan Mongeau, 16, of Lancaster County, as part of his Eagle Scout service project, said Mowery.
"You can sit there to watch your children, or it would be even better if you play with them," Mowery said. "Memories are very important."
The cost: Funds for the project came through private donations and events like a 5K race, and donations from the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management authority, Louis Appell Jr. and a grant from the York County Community Foundation, said Mowery.
"We were really pleased with the community support for the playground and we had children waiting for it before it opened," Mowery said. "We had quite a bit of help and the Sam Lewis Park was great to work with."
The park is located off Mount Pisgah Road in Lower Windsor Township.
The Leah Vogel Memorial Playground Fund will continue to raise funds for playgrounds across the state, and will be hosting another Lace-Up for Leah 5K Run/Fun-Walk at Sam Lewis Park on Sunday, Sept. 16.
To register, visit www.paparksandforest.org.