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State grant creates safer Briscoe Park playground surface

Park RubberTwo new playgrounds at T.W. Briscoe Park will have safer playing surfaces thanks to a grant from the state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Agency.

The inaugural DNR - EPD Tire Products Grant was created to reduce solid waste by recovering valuable materials through recycling and using them on local playgrounds.

The project included removing current "Engineered Wood Fiber" from two playground surfaces in Briscoe Park and replacing it with a "Bonded Rubber Product" that was created by recycled tire products. The new playground surface is a bonded rubber mulch poured in place around the playgrounds. 

"We are thrilled that we were awarded funds from the DNR-EPD grant,” said Lisa A. Platt, CPRP Director Parks and Recreation. “Switching the playground surfaces in these two playgrounds not only meets safety requirements and looks good, it is also a benefit to maintenance crew in reference to minimal upkeep. This is just one more upgrade we have been able to execute at Briscoe Park to give our citizens and visitors have the best experience possible at Briscoe Park.  The city would never have had the funding available to make this switch in surfacing without the DNR-RPD Grant, and we are very thankful for the grant funds."

Both playgrounds equal about 7,550 total square feet and 63,750 pounds of recycled rubber tires were used to complete project. Estimated costs for removal of current engineered wood fiber, prep of play surfaces, and adding new recycled rubber (tire) product (with bonding agent) was $178,640.29.

The grant covered $174,992.29 of the project while, the city will pay the $3,648 to cover costs not awarded through grant funds.