Legacy Parks Foundation cut the ribbon today on the Intergenerational Playspace at Beverly Park in north Knox County. It is the first park in the region to be purposefully designed to create active interactions between multiple generations, especially children and seniors.
“This park was made possible by our many partners that supported and funded the project,” said Carol Evans, Legacy Parks’ executive director.
Legacy Parks was awarded a $150,000 two-phase grant from the Trinity Health Foundation to research, design and create the Playspace. Additional grants and construction services provided by Knox County made the park possible
Humana sponsored the therapeutic zone featuring 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.
Hillcrest Healthcare sponsored the soft-surface walking path leading from their facility to the Playspace in honor of Mark Walker for his 16 years of service on their Board of Directors.
Siddiqi Foundation funded the music garden which will feature chimes, drums, and a xylophone for adults and children of all ages to make music together.
The TVA Retirees Association/Bicentennial Volunteers sponsored the benches within the play space as well as adding resting benches to the existing half-mile walking trail within the park.
The Playspace features an ellipse shaped central activity area surrounded by a walking track with handrail. Inside the ellipse is a therapeutic zone and play area featuring equipment for both intergenerational play and physical exercise. The Playspace overlooks the dog park and connects to the existing paved walking loop.
Legacy Parks partnered with Knox County Libraries to adding a Walking Storybook to the soft-surface walking path. The storyboards will be part of the library’s system of Storybook Trails, with the stories rotating from park to park.
The benefits of play are not just for children – playful interactions can also benefit older adults, supporting better health and social engagement, preventing cognitive decline, and creating multigenerational learning opportunities.
The intent of the park’s design is to create a place for rehabilitation and reflection, a place for generations to interact through activity, to stimulate the brain, body and the senses with a variety of physical, visual, audible, and cognitive experience for all generations, and to take full advantage of all the benefits of being outdoors in nature.
The entire community will benefit from the activities provided – adults with mobility and physical rehabilitation issues, active adults, families, and children will all enjoy the recreational experiences in a beautiful public space.
“This playspace is for everyone and every body,” explained Evans. “It will encourage all ages and abilities to come together to play, socialize, participate in physical activity and be outside.”