TOP PHOTO: This is of the new Caryville Playground snapped last month by WLAF’s Charlie Hutson.

State Representative Dennis Powers shares the actual proposal for the replacement of the Cove Lake State Park swimming pool with WLAF. “It has not been finalized, but it includes water features that can be used for learning and play-like “streams” and rainfall gardens.  It also has several other features like the amphitheater classroom.  The design for the natural playground has not been finalized yet, but it is only in the design phase and is only approximately 1/5 of the total project,” said Powers. There is more information from Representative Powers at the end of Charlotte Underwood’s story.

By Charlotte Underwood 

JACSKBORO, TN (WLAF) – Commissioners approved a resolution asking the state to not install a playscape at Cove Lake State Park and to instead consider “citizen input” and put in an amphitheater.

After the closing of the pool at Cove Lake State Park, the state has announced a proposal to install a playscape at that location.

Brandon Johnson with Caryville Cares Playground addressed the county commission at last Monday’s workshop saying he was against this and asking the commission to adopt a resolution in protest.

At that workshop, Johnson told commissioners that the state’s decision to put in a playscape was a “slap in the face” after the county had invested so much in the Caryville Cares Playground, which is located “just down the street.”

Brandon Johnson told commissioners last week that the state’s decision to put in a playscape was a “slap in the face.”

The resolution adopted by the commission asks the state to consider citizen input before moving forward with the playscape.

At last week’s workshop, Johnson stated that he didn’t feel the state putting in a playscape was a “smart use of tax payer dollars.”

The resolution goes on to state that the county doesn’t have anything like an amphitheater and that it would be “supported by the community.”

“Campbell County has no venue of any type like an amphitheater with outdoor seating. It could also be used to show outdoor movies and for local plays and community performances,” Commissioner Rusty Orick said as he read the resolution out loud.

The resolution was adopted unanimously by the county commission and will be sent to the state, as well as State Representative Dennis Powers and State Senator Ken Yager.

State Representative Dennis Powers adds this information:

Some key components of a natural playground include:

  • The use of natural materials and textures found on trees, rocks, sand, and other landscaping
  • Plenty of open space for children to roam and explore freely
  • Unstructured play with no fixed objective
  • Walkways or bridges for children to get from one point to another, even if it’s over an artificial creek
  • Planters or a garden for children to develop social skills and teamwork as they tend to living plants and flowers
  • The ability to move light-weight objects from one location to another within the area
  • Elimination of time limits
  • Naturally shaded areas


2 Replies to “Commission approves resolution about proposed Cove Lake Park playscape ”

  1. These seem like two totally different play areas. I understand the part about inclusive space, but the one that the state is proposing, doesn’t appear to leave those with special needs out.

  2. I don’t understand why the Caryville Cares people or the county commission would be opposed to the state’s plans for the play area to replace the pool. It provides another play area plus nature learning opportunities for children and adults. And the plans for it sound great! Both facilities would be put to good use. Outdoor movies are already shown at Lonas Young Park so we do have that option already.

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