With the help of a federal grant Smith Park in New Carlisle was able to buy and install a Sensory Dome. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Playground equipment added to New Carlisle park

Work is complete on a new multi-age playground at Smith Park in New Carlisle.

The new playground, on Mitchell Boulevard, is a culmination of a three-year planning program between the New Carlisle Parks Board and Clark County Creating Healthy Communities, who received a grant from the Ohio Department of Health to use for chronic disease prevention.

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“Physical activity is very underutilized, especially in our county. Unfortunately, we have a very high obesity rate and we also have a very high inactivity rate,” said Elle Evans Peterson, the program manager for CHC. “We found with our YRBS data that unfortunately our children are not getting the physical activity that they need. We know from evidence based research that if you start physical activity when you are younger, you will sustain it into adulthood. It does prevent chronic disease, which is very expensive, often fatal and does impact peoples quality of life.”

With the help of a federal grant Smith Park in New Carlisle was able to buy and install a Sensory Dome. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

The three-year projects cost $100,000, Peterson said.

In 2016, the initial playground with the climbing feature and the accessible transfer station (age rated 5-12 years old) were completed at $30,000. In 2017, the infant swings and accessibility ramps (age rated infant-toddler plus) were completed at about $30,000. This year the sensory dome was put in place (age rated 8-16 years old) at $40,000.

“This is a really amazing piece of equipment because the earlier piece is a little more for five to 12 years and it has this sensory dome that we were able to add on and that means it is inclusive for a wide range of kids that may have different learning styles and abilities,” said Peterson.

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Creating Healthy Communities is a 23-county program in Ohio under the Department of Health that works to prevent chronic diseases in Ohio. Clark County Creating Healthy Communities won a five-year grant worth about $500,000 in 2015 for the purposes of disease prevention. Grant funds were used for the Smith Park Project.

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