Now bigger and safer

Published 7:46 pm Monday, June 8, 2009

It’s rare to drive by the playground at Clanton City Park and not see kids swinging, jumping and climbing on the new equipment there.

The city has made many recent improvements to the site, which now boasts a pavilion and a new security fence.

“It’s a wonderful area for moms to bring their kids, and it’s all enclosed with just one entrance,” Clanton City Council member Mary Mell Smith said. “Moms, I think, feel much better about it.”

Parents will also appreciate safety features, such as rubber chips that surround the new play equipment. The equipment itself was designed to be handicap accessible.

Smith said next year the city plans to install rubber chips around the older slides and swing set, which she says are still in good condition.

“If [the children] were to fall, they would bounce rather than fall flat on the ground,” she said.

The outdoor recreation project, called Gateway to Adventure, was funded by a $50,000 grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The city matched the grant with another $50,000 and has spent an additional $25,000 on site improvements.

Unfortunately, the city had to replace the straps on two swings that were vandalized recently.

“It just makes me sick, but we’re not going to give up,” Smith said.

Future plans include landscaping outside the park and installing new benches and trash receptacles.

“This is something for the City of Clanton to be really proud of,” Smith said.