KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The first park to be designed to create active interactions between multiple generations, especially children and seniors, broke ground on Tuesday in Knoxville.
Legacy Parks Foundation was awarded a $150,000 two-phase grant from the Trinity Health Foundation to research, design and create the Playspace at Beverly Park. Humana also awarded the foundation with an additional $20,000 to create a therapeutic zone. The Siddiqi Foundation also funded $25,000 to add a music garden.
The Playspace will feature an ellipse-shaped central activity area with a walking track with a handrail surrounded the area. The Playspace will also overlook the new dog park and connect to the existing loop.
Inside of the ellipse will be the therapeutic zone and play area featuring equipment for both intergenerational play and physical exercise.
The therapeutic zone will feature rehabilitative, physical exercise equipment and activities for low-impact, body-weight exercises to focus on balance, muscle tone and fall prevention. Hillcrest and other programming partners will be able to utilize the space for rehabilitation exercises with seniors in an outdoor environment.
Within the loop, the public will see the walking Storybook trail feature and benches.
The music garden will have chimes, drums, xylophone and other sound equipment for adults and children of all ages.
According to Legacy Parks’ news release, studies show people benefit from increased physical activity, access to vitamin D, fresh air and the reduction of health risk factors associated with outdoor activity.
Research also reveals intergenerational play specifically has shown that children display higher levels of language and problem-solving skills when they are contacting with adults.
“This park will encourage community members of all ages and abilities to come together to play, socialize, participate in physical activity and be outside,” said Carol Evans, Legacy Parks’ executive director.
The intern of the park’s design is to create a place for rehabilitation and reflection, according to the news release.
The Playspace is set to open by October 2023.