Westside Methodist Church to build community park in Lincoln County
Published 6:24 pm Thursday, May 2, 2019
HUSTONVILLE — Westside Community United Methodist Church has committed to building a destination public park on the U.S 127 corridor in the Hustonville/Moreland area to meet the community’s recreation, outdoor play, fitness and social connection needs. The first phase of the park will begin construction on Friday, May 10, and the entire community is invited to help build the playground.
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According to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, 80 percent of adolescents spend over seven hours a day in front of a screen and fail to get the recommended amount of aerobic physical activity. Adults are no better; less than five percent get 30 minutes of daily physical activity. A contributing cause to these statistics is that nationally only one in five homes are within a half-mile of a park, fitness center or recreation facility. The three closest opportunities for residents in the west side of Lincoln County are 12, 15 and 26 miles away respectively: Veterans’ Park in Stanford, Millennium Park in Danville and Anderson Dean Community Park in Harrodsburg. In the Hustonville zip code (40437) alone, there are over 1,000 kids from 569 families who have to travel for recreation, fitness and outdoor play and there are currently no public or corporate plans to address these concerns.
The congregation of Westside Community United Methodist Church realized they had resources that could be used toward solutions for this challenge. They developed a plan to build a safe, convenient, clean park for community families to enjoy. The church committed 8 acres of land at 2875 U.S. 127 and congregation members committed personal finances to launch the project, with the intention of securing grants and partnering with both local residents and businesses to collaboratively build a community park that will be open from dawn until dusk, seven days a week.
The initial vision is a destination park to serve community residents and families throughout the region. It will be constructed in phases as money is available. Phase one includes an 8,500-square-foot, commercial-grade playground for toddlers and elementary children and a picnic pavilion to host family and community events. It will seat 250 and include accessible restrooms, a serving area, a kitchen, and staging with sound and projection.
Phase two includes soccer fields, a sand volleyball court, and tetherball courts. Phase three will expand the playground by 5,000 square feet, adding ADA accessible elements, including wheelchair-friendly surfacing.
Phase four adds a half-mile, paved walking trail and phase five adds a ninja fitness course. Phase six will include a full basketball court. Greater levels of funding could make possible elements like an amphitheater for concerts, a dog park, a community garden or even a stocked fishing pond. Building a park as a community collaboration opens up endless possibilities.
In less than three months enough money has been committed to build the phase one playground. It includes personal commitments, money from a fundraising partnership with the Hustonville Elementary PTO, a corporate contribution from AT&T, and a contribution from the local ‘Lil Cherubs organization.
The community build starts Saturday, May 10, at 9 a.m. to erect the playground. Anyone interested and able is invited to help and lunch will be provided for everyone. The playground will be open to the public as soon as the mulch is spread.
For more information, go to thewestsidecommunitypark.org or contact Faron Owen at (859) 333-3902. To support the park financially go to gofundme.com/the-westside-community-park.