August 11, 2019
By: Dwayne Page and Dr. April Martin
Efforts are underway in Alexandria to transform an older children’s playground into a new community park that adults as well as youngsters can enjoy.
This grassroots movement began several months ago by young mothers including Heather Kaceleski and Amy Reed who wanted a safer place to take their children to play.
The Industrial Playground, located behind the fairgrounds, is a nice large area, but there is very little equipment left for children to use.
In their quest for help, these concerned moms turned to the Health Department and UT/TSU Extension Service in DeKalb County, along with the town of Alexandria to make the new park a reality and discovered the BlueCross Blue Shield of Tennessee Foundation which funds Healthy Places Grants of up to $1 million.
The group is now finalizing a proposal to make application for a Healthy Places grant which if approved would fully fund development of the new park without any matching funding requirements from the town of Alexandria.
“The group’s vision is for all residents..children, adults, and seniors to have a place for physical fitness and potentially some programs they can take advantage of such as Tai Chi for Arthritis, Yoga for Kids, 4-H Science Day Camp, Walking with Ease Arthritis, Story Book Trails and more. There will be areas for adult fitness equipment as well. The Alexandria Community Park is a place that everyone in the community can take advantage of,” said Dr. April Martin, UT/TSU Extension Agent.
In order for the grant to be funded, the Alexandria community must show its support to demonstrate a need for the park and the added recreational and exercise opportunities it would provide for all ages.
If you reside in Alexandria, you are asked to fill out a short online survey. It takes 1-2 minutes to complete. A larger number of people completing the survey makes the proposal stronger and increases the chances of the grant being funded but hurry because the application must be filed by the end of August.
Please help by going to https://tinyurl.com/AlexanriaParkSurvey. There are also paper copies of the survey available at Liberty State Bank and Wilson Bank and Trust in Alexandria, Prichard’s Grocery, and Alexandria Pizza & Steaks.
To keep up to date with the project visit