City Parks and Rec working on handicap accessible playground

Published 8:14 am Thursday, November 5, 2015

The model for the new handicap accessible park features five slides and various opportunities to climb and explore.

The model for the new handicap accessible park features five slides and various opportunities to climb and explore.

The staff of Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department is considering a series of new projects and have already begun work on one. They have also made additional pavilions available for rent in response to community members’ requests.
The installation of a new handicap accessible playground at Harmon Park next to the Chamber of Commerce is now in motion.
“This is just a step in the right direction,” said Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains. “This is just one piece of playground equipment, and then we will address others next year. It’s a great improvement.”
Mains said residents use the park frequently because of its prime location and the availability of two pavilions. Two walking paths lead to the park, and it is next to the Chamber of Commerce, which welcomes over 1,500 visitors annually.
Equipment is currently being installed, and then ground cover will be laid.
The playground is estimated to cost $65,000 and is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2016, possibly sooner.
Following this project are plans to add an access walkway from the lower parking lot at Lyons Park to the Tweetsie Trail, making each more easily accessible for users.
Department staff are currently researching and considering the possibility of adding a dog park, disc golf course and skate park.
“‘It’s the right time to look at some of these new facilities,” said Mains. “I feel that when you look around at other cities of comparable size–and now that we are getting caught back up from a tough economic time–that it is a positive direction to go.”
He said the city also has a great need for a sports complex
“We’re doing as much as we can to make improvements to facilities and to add programs and events, but there’s only so much the city can do.”
Facilities that will now be available for rental are two pavilions at City Park and one at Harmon Park. At these smaller pavilions, residential rates are $50 for the full day and $30 for a half day.
“We constantly have requests from people to rent a couple of different parks that we haven’t done in the past,” said Mains. “We have Kiwanis and Rotary and Riverside that we always rent but we opened it up where you can rent smaller pavilions too.”

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