Recently installed lighting and new playground equipment is providing Gatlinburg residents and visitors more opportunity for outdoor recreation at Mills Park in Gatlinburg.
A Local Parks and Recreation Fund Grant by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation made the completed projects in Mills Park possible. Designated as a 50/50 split, the grant for $98,000 offset the cost to replace old playground equipment and install new lighting around the track. The City Parks and Recreation Department used the funding for the installation of a new tree house-themed playground and state of the art safety surfacing made from recycled rubber.
“This completes the City’s plan to replace the playgrounds at all three City Parks,” says Marty Nicely, Gatlinburg Recreation Department director.
The grant also provided funding for lighting improvements at Mills Park track. The City replaced the track lighting with state of the art Musco Athletic Field fixtures that match all the lighting at the adjacent Rocky Top Sports World. The environmentally friendly fixtures project brighter light directly down onto the field so there is no bleed over into the surrounding community.
“The new lighting makes it possible for Rocky Top Sports World to play events at the track after dark which increases the number of teams that can be hosted for field tournaments,” says Nicely. “Additionally, the lights are programmable and remotely controlled by satellite to be on only when in use, which makes them much more economical for the City.”
The City of Gatlinburg maintains three city parks that offer residents and visitors a variety of outdoor experiences. Each park has different amenities, but all have playgrounds, covered pavilions, restrooms, and picnic areas.