Knoxville's Fort Kid community playground to be revitalized

Knoxville's Fort Kid community playground to be revitalized

Posted:
Fort Kid, one of the most beloved sights in Knoxville, is now in need of some care. Fort Kid, one of the most beloved sights in Knoxville, is now in need of some care.
The 12,000 square foot community playground near World's Fair Park was built 23 years ago in April 1991. The 12,000 square foot community playground near World's Fair Park was built 23 years ago in April 1991.
The first round of renovations will be completed by June 1, just in time for the start of the summer season. The first round of renovations will be completed by June 1, just in time for the start of the summer season.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Fort Kid, one of the most beloved sights in Knoxville, is now in need of some care.

The 12,000 square foot community playground near World's Fair Park was built 23 years ago in April 1991.

More than 2,500 volunteers came together to build it in just five days.

It was paid for entirely through community donations and gifted to the city of Knoxville during its bicentennial celebration.

Since then, Fort Kid has been the place to play for area children.

Over the decades, all that play has left it is less than ideal condition, leaving it worn down and in need of major renovations.

"It's had a lot of play and a lot of wear and tear," said Beth Waters, general coordinator for Fort Kid.

"People have been asking for months and months now, 'What's going to happen to Ford Kid?'" said Alexander Waters, Fort Kid's redevelopment coordinator.

The Fort Kid Committee announced plans Wednesday to revitalize the site, using the more than $65,000 raised through the Fort Kid Maintenance Fund.

Over the next year, the playground's fencing will be torn down and replaced, with new pea gravel, shrubs and plants brought in.

The entire playground will then be pressure washed and re-stained.

New equipment, chosen by area children, will also be added, as well as seating areas and picnic tables.

"We'll see what the kids today want to see added to Fort Kid," said Beth Waters.

This much needed facelift for Fort Kid will help make sure it stays available for area children for another 23 years.

"Everyone's got a story to tell. Everyone's got a piece of their history that's tied to Ford Kid and we want to make sure that future generations to come will have their story to tell," said Alexander Waters.

The first round of renovations will be completed by June 1, just in time for the start of the summer season.

Waters also announced the formation of the Kids of Fort Kid Committee, which will consist of a team of volunteers who will work on preservation of the playground.

Beyond fundraising, they will host a work day on September 20 to add finishing touches to the revitalization efforts.

All work is scheduled to be complete by April 2015, and will culminate in a celebration at Fort Kid.

Just like when Fort Kid was built all those years ago, the Kids of Fort Kid Committee needs volunteers for this project.

For more information on how you can help, visit their website.

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