Location: The Fountain Avenue Health Park is located at 421 North 13th Street in the historic Fountain Avenue Neighborhood. The park is bordered by Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, 13th Street, Madison Street, and 14th Street. The first phase of the park project is completed.
Vision: The plan for the park (see image) is an outdoor health park that promotes healthy living. It will provide a venue for local schools, the Parks Department, and other agencies to educate the public, especially youth, about proper diet and exercise. For this park, the City of Paducah has partnered with United Way of Paducah-McCracken County, Lourdes Hospital, Baptist Health Paducah, Rotary Club of Paducah, Purchase District Health Department, Healthy Paducah Chapter of the Purchase Connections for Health Coalition, and Paducah Independent Schools.
Phase I (Completed): The Paducah Rotary Playground in addition to the 1/3 mile walking trail and the fitness area opened to the public on June 16, 2017. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Health Park is set for August 1 at 10:30 a.m. In November 2016, the Paducah Board of Commissioners approved a 180-calendar-day contract with Wilkins Construction Company for the approximately $620,000 Phase I project which included the rubberized safety surface at the Rotary Playground, the installation of a 1/3 mile walking trail, a fitness area, the grading and resurfacing of the grassy lawn, lighting, landscaping, water fountains, and an expansion of the Community Garden. The playground was installed and opened in June 2016 but had to be closed during the construction project for the installation of the safety surface. Grants through the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, Land & Water Conservation Fund, and Recreations Trail in addition to donations provided more than $668,000 for this project. Prior to the Phase I Project, this park consisted only of a large open area, a smaller version of the Community Garden, and the Paducah Rotary Playground which was constructed in June 2016.
June 2017 Phase I Project Completion:
March 2017 Construction Update:
Groundbreaking Ceremony on December 7, 2016 for Phase I:
Phase II: Currently, the City of Paducah is seeking funding for the Health Park’s second phase which would include a restroom facility, the expansion of the fitness area, a plaza, and a spray pad. The end of the park facing Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive could include housing or a mixed-use development.
Healthy Living is the theme for the Fountain Avenue Health Park. The City of Paducah is working with a group of partners including the Healthy Paducah Chapter of the Purchase Area Connections for Health Coalition, United Way of Paducah-McCracken County, Baptist Health Paducah, Lourdes Hospital, Rotary Club of Paducah, Paducah Independent Schools, and the Purchase District Health Department.
At the April 14, 2015 City Commission meeting, Parks Services Director Mark Thompson along with United Way of Paducah-McCracken County Executive Director Monique Zuber and Mike Muscarella, director of rehabilitation services at Baptist Health Paducah, explained the partnership that led to the creation of this new park in the Fountain Avenue Neighborhood.
More than $668,000 was available to start the first phase of the park. The City received the Investing in Kentucky’s Future grant for the park in the amount of $400,000 from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The grant required a cash match of $200,000 which was satisfied through a 2014 Land & Water Conservation Fund grant in the amount of $75,000, its cash match in the amount of $75,000, and donations of $25,000 each from the two hospitals. The City also has received a Recreation Trails Grant in the amount of $68,095.
The program called CATCH, Coordinated Approach to Child Health, will be implemented in the Paducah School System to educate children on the benefits of healthy decisions and healthy lifestyles.
The community built playground, sponsored and supported by the Rotary Club of Paducah in addition to Rotary District 6710 Grants and numerous donors, was constructed June 20-26, 2016 primarily by volunteers with a ribbon cutting held June 26. This $200,000 playground is 4000 square feet in size and features a rope wall, rock wall, castles, swings, slides, and monkey bars. Visit Paducah Rotary Playground for more information.