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Nothing left but the crumbs

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‘Burg Park gets safer play area surface

By Brandon Mattingly

The recently installed playground equipment at Fredericktown Community Park just got even safer with the addition of Kid Timber barriers and several tons of crumb rubber.

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Renovations have been ongoing at the park over the last couple of years, and Washington County Judge-Executive John Settles said the work that was most recently completed provides somewhat of a finishing touch to the extensive project.

Some painting and other minor work is still expected, but Settles noted that this represents the final project at the ‘Burg that will rely on grant money for completion.

The total cost of bringing in the crumb rubber and barriers was just over $5,500, with a grant from the Energy and Environmental Cabinet and the Division of Waste Management covering 75 percent of the cost and Washington County Fiscal Court providing the remaining 25 percent.

As part of the grant, the rubber used for the playground surface had to come from tires in the state of Kentucky, which also keeps discarded tires out of local landfills.

According to a document provided by Settles — on behalf of fiscal court — that outlines the criteria of the project, the condition of the park was described as previously having unsafe sand groundcover surrounding outdated equipment. The equipment was replaced earlier this year, and the surface received attention this past week.

“After researching the safest and most environmentally friendly type of groundcover, it was decided to apply waste tire crumb rubber in the area under and around the new playground equipment,” the document states.

It’s also noted that at least six inches of the rubber was to be put in place, equating to a critical fall height of 10-12 feet. In other words, if a child were to fall from the stated height, no life-threatening injury is expected to occur.

The report also estimates that 15-and-a-half tons of crumb rubber would be required to cover the recommended area, keeping over 4,000 waste tires out of Kentucky landfills.

Fredericktown Community Park hosts various events involving Washington County and Nelson County residents, including softball tournaments, family and company gatherings and St. Dominic School baseball and softball games. An estimated 25,000 people will visit the park this year alone.