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"Green" playground nears completion in Farragut

5:10 PM, Oct 6, 2010   |    comments
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Construction is nearing an end at the newest park in West Knox County.

"It is going to include two picnic shelters, a splash pad, playground, restroom and additional parking," said Sue Stuhl, Director of Parks & Leisure Services for the Town of Farragut.

Beyond the typical swing sets and slides, McFee Park has some high-tech and environmentally friendly additions.

"We wanted to start to include some green technology to the park," Stuhl said.

That technology includes high efficiency LED lighting, solar panels, permeable paver parking areas, rain gardens, drip irrigation systems, and light tubes in the restrooms.

Electricity produced by the solar panels will be sold to TVA then purchased at a lower price, resulting in a net savings.

"That will be a help to us and our utility bill," Stuhl said.

The work and green additions come with a $1.7 million price tag. It is funded through Farragut's capitol improvement plan and $171,000 grant from the state's Local Parks & Recreation Fund.

"It might cost a little bit more in the front end, but in the long term its going to be helpful for everyone," Stuhl said.

In addition to eventual cost savings, Stuhl hopes the green technology will inspire the children who use the park.

"We do hope that the kids will ask 'What are those panels on the roof, what is that for?', so they can understand where we are trying to be a better steward of our land here," she said.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Two more stages are in the works. Phase three is an amphitheater. The fourth includes nature trails and a disc golf course.

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