A groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the Health Park will be Wednesday, December 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the corner of 14th and Madison Streets.
Mayor Gayle Kaler says, “The health of Paducah’s citizens is so important to me. This park will help create a healthy Paducah since it will offer a fitness area, a walking path, an expansion of the Community Garden, the Paducah Rotary Playground, and much more. I am also proud of the connections that have with a variety of community partners. They will aid in the success of this project now and into the future.”
Planning Director Steve Ervin says, “The Health Park will further the livability of the revitalized Historic Fountain Avenue neighborhood by providing fitness and wellness activities.”
This phase of the Health Park project will take approximately six months to complete. It includes safety surfacing for the Paducah Rotary Playground which was constructed by Rotary members and volunteers this past summer. In addition to the grading, drainage, irrigation of the great lawn in the center of the park, this phase also includes the 1/3 mile walking trail, lighting, an expansion of the Community Garden, and a fitness area. On November 15, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a $619,169.36 contract with Wilkins Construction Company for the phase I construction.
Paducah Parks Services Director Mark Thompson says, “The Health Park project is the summit of partnership. The Health Coalition is a diversified group of community leaders getting together to pull the rope in the same direction. Our target has been consistent, the health, fitness and well-being of the citizens of our community. The Health Park and its amenities will be a beautiful result of the dedicated work of many. A special thanks must be made to our granting agencies: the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Department of Local Government, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. We would not be here without their generosity.”
For this park, the City of Paducah has partnered with United Way of Paducah-McCracken County, Lourdes Hospital, Baptist Health, Rotary Club of Paducah, Purchase District Health Department, Healthy Paducah Chapter of the Purchase Connections for Health Coalition, Paducah Independent Schools, and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
The City has received grants and donations totaling more than $668,000. Donations have been provided by Baptist Health and Lourdes Hospital. The following three agencies provided grant funds: Land & Water Conservation Fund, Recreational Trails, and Investing in Kentucky’s Future grant through the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
The Health Park is city-owned property located at 421 North 13th Street. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 13th Street, Madison Street, and 14th Street serve as the borders. Currently, the Health Park consists of the Community Garden, the Paducah Rotary Playground, and an open lot in the center. Future elements for the park after this construction phase include restrooms, a spray pad, and an outdoor performance area.