Friday the 13th was a lucky day for kids visiting Pulaski County Park.
County officials welcomed Lisa Evans, Environmental Scientist V with the Kentucky Division of Waste Management, to the park Friday morning to see the completion of a "poured-in-place" rubberized surface to replace wood chips at the playground serving Shelters 6-8.
"I am excited to be here and happy to see the project completed," Evans said. "Thank you to Pulaski County. I hope everyone enjoys the new playground surfacing."
The $29,040 project was funded through a Crumb Rubber Grant the state agency awarded back in May. Composed of waste tires, the new surface from Bluegrass Recreational Products has a spongy feel that can better absorb the impact should a fall occur.
"It's always exciting for us to accomplish goals," Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley said. "This new safety surfacing is just one of many projects we are working on around our county. We are thankful to have great working relationships with the state, our Solid Waste Department, and our local contractors, in obtaining this grant and completing the project."
Though the grant program has been around since 2004, funded through a $2 fee on new tire purchases, Evans noted that it wasn't opened up to poured-in-place projects until last year.
"It's a very competitive grant," Evans said. "Our first year we received 20 applications totaling over $700,000 with the Division funding $300,000.
"In 2019, we received close to $1.6 million in grant applications to fund $500,471 to 23 entities," she continued, "which included seven poured-in-lace playgrounds, two poured-in-place walking trails, one playground with rubberized mats, and four landscaping projects."
This year also marked the first year for benches and tables made from waste tires. Evans noted that nine of these projects were awarded statewide.