CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Crossville park is one of the recipients of state grants totaling $2.5 million to fund inclusive playground equipment.

The grants were awarded by the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD).

The Obed River Park in Crossville was given a grant totaling $102,700.50 to replace the 40-year-old, dilapidated equipment and provide new, ADA-accessible equipment such as swings, a merry-go-round, and playground equipment, the DIDD said.

Additionally, the funds will help provide ground-level play spaces and sensory-rich components.

The Cumberland County Mayor’s Office said some of the equipment has not been replaced since the 1980s. Photographs shared by the Mayor’s Office show outdated equipment, some of which is broken and worn out.

The Mayor’s Office also shared information about some of the equipment they are planning to purchase with the help of the grant. Links shared included a 47′ by 50′ play system with slides, climbing features, and sensory play features, an accessible-level merry-go-round with postural support, and a large swing with a saucer-style seat that has space for up to five children.

There is one other East Tennessee recipient of the grant: The Oneida Special School District was awarded $425,285,16. The DIDD said the funds will be used to provide children and adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities a safe place that promotes parallel play and activities.

Other recipients of the grants include:

  • Hope Included (Chattanooga): $500,000 to transform the Riverview Park playground and facilities into an inclusive hub for the community, in partnership with the City of Chattanooga and Play & Park Structures Inc., a PlayCore Company. This project aims to transform the current space into an inclusive park that is an open and safe space carefully designed to promote play among children of differing abilities, ages, and communities. 
  • City of Germantown: $489,425.80 to rebuild the Germantown Municipal Park and Playground and expand its ADA accessibility offerings through an inclusively designed playground equipped with wheelchair-accessible pathways.  
  • City of Madisonville: $465,448 to develop an inclusive play area located within steps of an existing play area at Kefauver Park. The park is already ADA compliant, but in collaboration with Monroe County, the City of Madisonville plans to add more handicapped parking spaces to the parking lots and new inclusive play equipment.  
  • Carroll County Inclusion Park: $497,250 to develop land gifted by the town of Huntingdon to create the Carroll County Inclusion Park. The primary goal for the design of this playground is to provide a safe and accessible playground that inspires peer-to-peer inclusive play, which will include ADA-compliant bathroom facilities.  
  • Friends of Franklin Park: $19,881.54 for the not-for-profit organization to create the city of Franklin’s first inclusive park. The park will use a design approach that takes into account not only accessibility and mobility, but also potential sensory, cognitive, and emotional barriers.  

The DIDD says there were a total of 86 applications from communities and nonprofit organizations for the Inclusive Playground Grant.