FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 9, 2014
For more information,
Contact: Natalie Lester
Iconic Knoxville playground unites community
Fort Kid, an iconic Knoxville playground, is going to be renovated for its future and connected to its past as part of a two-phase project in 2014.
Situated adjacent to the Knoxville Museum of Art and World’s Fair Park and bordering the Fort Sanders neighborhood, Fort Kid has been a Knoxville landmark for children of all ages, parents and the community for nearly a quarter of a century. Some 2,500 volunteers built the 12,000-square-foot structure in five days in April 1991.
As Fort Kid prepares to celebrate its 23rd birthday, organizers and advocates of the playground announced today a revitalization project.
“When we built Fort Kid in 1991, it was the biggest volunteer construction effort in the city’s history,” said Beth Waters, Fort Kid committee chair. “We are excited to announce the playground’s renovation and upgrades in 2014, and we know our community will volunteer their support, once again, of this great space in our city.”
When Fort Kid was completed in 1991, the committee invested $10,000 through the East Tennessee Foundation. The fund has grown to $65,000 in 23 years and will be used for the playground’s improvements.
The renovation plan includes two phases. The first phase will replace the fence and add landscaping. Wooden surfaces also will be repaired, the entire structure will be pressure-washed and stained, and a new layer of pea gravel will be added. These initial improvements will be completed by June – in time for children to enjoy the playground when they are out of school for the summer.
The second phase of the renovation will focus on community involvement. A new volunteer committee, “The Kids of Fort Kid,” will represent the first children to enjoy the playground in 1991. On Sept. 20, this group and other volunteers will be onsite planting, painting and putting the final touches on the renovated facility.
As funds allow, the committee also plans to add additional equipment. On Sept. 20, volunteers will also request community feedback on what play pieces they would like to see added to Fort Kid in April 2015. The community effort that begins in September will culminate in April 2015 when the additional play pieces are added. To sign up to volunteer, visit www.fortkidknox.com.
“Some of my first playground memories with my friends were made at Fort Kid,” said Alexander Waters, renovation coordinator of The Kids of Fort Kid. “I am so excited to build the future of the playground and our community through this renovation in 2014.”
About Fort Kid
Fort Kid is a 12,000-square-foot playground that includes slides, swings and other play structures. The playground is located adjacent to the World’s Fair Park and the Knoxville Museum of Art. Built in five days in 1991 by more than 2,500 volunteers, the playground has served as a downtown destination for children and their families for nearly 25 years. For more information about Fort Kid, visit www.fortkidknox.com.