Department of Parks
Crumb Rubber To Be Used in Playground
FRANKFORT, Ky. – The Kentucky Department of Parks is installing crumb rubber at a new playground at General Butler State Park in Carrollton, thanks to a grant from the state Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, John Kington, deputy parks commissioner, announced today.
The announcement came as Kentucky began observing Earth Week., which culminates in Earth Day on April 22.
Crumb rubber, which is finely ground rubber from old tires, is said to have several advantages over traditional playground base materials. It requires less maintenance and is more absorbent, reducing injuries from falls.
This is important because of the number of injuries that occur on playgrounds annually. In 1999 alone, more than 200,000 children suffered playground-related injuries. The most common injuries were broken bones, followed by cuts, abrasions and sprains. In addition, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are 15 to 20 playground-related fatalities each year.
In addition to safety, the use of crumb rubber has the added benefit of addressing a significant waste management problem. According to estimates, about 5 million waste tires are generated in Kentucky annually.
Funding for this project is from the Division of Waste Management’s Waste Tire Market Development Crumb Rubber Grant Program. Through the program, the department received a grant of approximately $9,600.
If the product proves successful at General Butler, then the Parks Department may expand the use of crumb rubber to other sites. The new playground at General Butler is expected to be completed in May.
Keep America Beautiful has recognized Kentucky as the number one state in the nation for the cleanup and recycling of tires for the last 2 years. During the Great American Cleanup from March-May, Kentucky cleaned up and recycled 850,000 of the 1.2 million tires cleaned nationwide in 2004 and 1 million of the 2.2 million cleaned nationwide in 2005.
Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day in the Commonwealth. Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.
This is the third year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day. Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, environmental award presentations and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology. Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.earthday.ky.gov to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov