The City of Leitchfield was announced this week as one of the 40 recipients of a grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC).
The $13,833 grant will be used to purchase crumb rubber to replace the playground mulch at B.G. Dewitt Park, located at 315 West Walnut Street.
The crumb rubber material, made from recycled tires, provides a safer fall area, requires less maintenance than the normal playground mulch currently used, and lasts longer than the current playground mulch, according to Leitchfield Public Works Director Sheila Puckett.
“It will look similar to what they have at [H.W.] Wilkey [Elementary School],” she said.
With the grant funding, the project will cost the City only $600.
“I am so excited to receive this grant,” Puckett said. “I think it will be a really good thing.”
After the paper work for the project has been finalized through Frankfort, Puckett will contact the vendor to purchase the crumb rubber.
Puckett said she applied for grants to install crumb rubber at Leitchfield’s James D. Beville City Park and Firefighter’s Memorial Park, as well; however, the City received approval for only the B.G. Dewitt Park.
“That won’t stop me though,” she said.
The B.G. Dewitt Park project was one of 40 that received a portion of $404,599 in grant funding from the EEC.
According to EEC Secretary Len Peters, the crumb rubber grants program is intended to promote environmental stewardship.
“The Energy and Environmental Cabinet is pleased to support these projects that will use recycled Kentucky waste tires in an environmentally beneficial way and will enhance playground safety for our children across the Commonwealth,” said Peters.
All grant funding derives from the Waste Tire Trust Fund, established by the 1998 Kentucky General Assembly to receive a $1 fee from each retail sale of a new tire in the state.
The fund manages approximately 4 million scrap tires generated in Kentucky each year and helps develop markets for recycled tire products.