Nature Works Grant funds for new Senior Playground

By Martha B. Jacob –

More than a year and a half ago, Georgetown resident Nancy Montgomery had a vision of building a senior playground area at Kathryn Hanlon Park in Georgetown.
She and Georgetown Mayor Dale Cahall, began the process of apply for a Nature Works Grant through the village. Montgomery wrote the grant, according to Cahall.
“It seemed endless waiting to hear from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources about the grant,” Montgomery said, “But we recently learned that we did indeed receive the Nature Works Grant we had applied for.
“This is a 75%-25% matching grant. We asked for $81,660 and received a grant for $61,245. We began immediately raising the other 25%, $20,415 and we are now within $4,000 of our goal. What a generous community we live in!”
The future Senior Playground Project will feature equipment from ‘Motion Wellness Systems’ which are designed to improve stability, balance, coordination and social interaction for senior citizens.
The equipment is vandal proof and meets needs of seniors and other groups such as accident victims, patients in recovery, cancer victims who have gone through radiation and chemotherapy and other conditions that affect balance and stability.
The Motion Wellness System that will be purchased with the grant funds  will be located in the front of Kathryn Hanlon Park with easy access for seniors.
“This is a top of the line system,” Montgomery said. “This is basically playground equipment for the elderly.”
The project will include the following features:
• Tables with checkerboards on them;
• At least 5 benches, maybe more;
• A shade cover;
• A fence with an open entrance;
• All the Motion Wellness Systems, balance beams, a rope course, a rope bridge, a stair walk, which also includes 18 activities.
Montgomery said that according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) one out of three adults aged 65 and over, falls each year and among this group, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries. About 50% of all admissions to long-term care communities relates to a fall.
“To my knowledge there are no other facilities available in our area that offers what this project will offer,” Montgomery said. “This will be a safe environment for people to come and enjoy and benefit from. They can take advantage of the equipment, socialize with friends and others participating.”
Montgomery said that the groundbreaking for the 45 feet by 45 feet concrete slab will begin in early March next year.
For more information about this project, contact Montgomery at (937) 378-3744, Cahall at (937) 378-6395, ext. 1000 or Georgetown Village Administrator,  Art Owens at (937) 378-6395, ext. 1003