By Eugenia Jones
Recognizing the mental and physical health benefits of time spent outside, Governor Andy Beshear last week announced funding for 41 projects that will enhance accessibility and upgrade parks and recreation spaces throughout Kentucky. The installation of an inclusive playground at the McCreary County Park is among the 41 projects to receive funding. Magistrate Bobby Strunk and his wife, Missy, have been working on the project since 2019. According to the Governor, the McCreary County Fiscal Court will use $54,859.00 to purchase and install an inclusive playground for children ages 5-12.
“The inclusive playground will be named GraceLand Playground in honor of Gracelynn Spradlin, a six year old wheel-chair bound child from McCreary County who passed away on May 30, 2021,” Strunk noted. “Her mother talked about how there weren’t any places for Gracelynn to play and swing on swings. That is what motivated us to try and do something in our park. I just wish we could have gotten a playground for Gracelynn sooner.”
Funding for the project was allotted from the federally funded Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which is administered at the state level by the Department for Local Government (DLG). Selected applicants must undergo federal review and receive approval from the National Park Service.