County crews repair splash pads, prep for Trunk or Treat

Mike DonilaOur Town Outdoors

Work should begin soon on the splash pad at Carl Cowan Park. Then, crews with the Knox County Parks and Recreation Department will shift their focus on the other two pads – one at New Harvest and the other in Powell.


“Cowan has to be done first since it’s caving in and not safe right now,” said Brad Hurst, who helps keep the pads up and running, adding that in the coming days he plans to pull the sand filter out of the system’s underground vault.

“We’re also prepping and getting a list of what needs to be done at Powell and New Harvest, so they’re functional and it’s not like this past year,” Hurst said.

This year was touch and go for the splash pads. They’re definitely starting to show their age and often needed major repairs. Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs has set aside $500,000 to help get them back into shape.

In other Parks and Rec news, unfortunately vandalism has returned. I guess people are too stupid to do anything else with their lives. We had some jackleg spray paint racist stuff all over the bathroom at Walker Springs Park. We painted over it, but we’ve shut it down for the weekend, so the paint can dry. If you need to use the restroom there, you’re out of luck. Blame it on the losers who think vandalism is funny.

Our carpenters spent the week over at Beverly Park, working on the pumphouse just past the golf course driving range and near the woods and pond. Vandals hit it twice in a week, kicking in the door and breaking vents, lights and hoses.

Our carpenters also started work building the outdoor activity games (cornhole, for example) for the Saturday, Oct. 30, first-ever Trunk or Treat event at John Tarleton Park from noon to 5 p.m. At this point, we expect almost 200 cars, hot rods and classics to be out there. We will finalize everything next week, but everyone is welcome (costumes are encouraged) and the event is free.

We also had crews at Bower Field painting some of the buildings and some folks over at the shop at John Tarleton Park working on the main gate. Further, we sent folks out to work on the lights at U.S. Cellular Field. Our Concord Park crew was busy as well. Some jacklegs spray painted Nazi symbols on the portable bathroom covers and on the parking lot at Carl Cowan Park, so those had to be removed.

The crew also worked on the electrical box at Field No. 6; raised the flags to half-staff in honor of former U.S. Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, who died earlier this week; worked on the gate at Cherokee Park; and started repairing cracks on the tennis courts at Carl Cowan Park and Concord Park.

On the recreation side, football and adult and youth softball are ongoing. Adult soccer and youth soccer also are ongoing. In addition, youth basketball is ready to crank up!

Enjoy these photos from this week’s work:

Mike Donila is communications director for Knox County government.

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