Fountain Avenue Health Park construction starts next month

Construction for the Fountain Avenue Health Park starts next month. The park is to be developed on the city-owned property bordered by Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, 13th street, Madison Street, and 14th street.

The large plot of grass will eventually be home to a 1/3 of a mile walking trail, playground, an expanded community garden, outdoor fitness equipment, and a spray pad.

Paducah Parks Director Mark Thompson says playground construction should take about a week once they start during late June. The Paducah Rotary Club is asking for volunteers to help build the park the week of June 20-26, 2016. If you’d like to volunteer you can find out more information here.

Thompson says most parks can be considered health parks but the way this project is shaping out makes it on the cutting edge.

"As many people that go jogging and walking and everything in Noble Park, they’re all health parks to a certain degree, but this is specifically geared, and we will have fitness equipment and things like that along with opportunities for healthy eating with the community gardens," Thompson said.

In addition to helping kids lead a healthier lifestyle, Thompson says the park will help boost the property value of the area.

"I think this is a great location. Number one there are very few parks in this immediate area that’s surrounded by three separate communities, Frenchtown, Lowertown, and Fountain Avenue. We are right at the tip of all three of those," Thompson said.

A  2015 Recreation Trail Grant of $68,095 along with a grant match provided by The Foundation For A Healthy Kentucky Grant, is helping cover costs for the park.

Between $75,000 and $150,000 of city funds will be used in for the park during the first phase, but the city’s received over $600,000 in outside funding.

Thompson says they will also work on the grating for the walking trail this summer, and the community garden expansion this fall.

The partnership called the purchase area connections for health, includes the following agencies: city of Paducah, Paducah parks services, United Way of Paducah-McCracken county, Baptist Health Paducah, Lourdes Hospital, and the Purchase District Health Department.

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