Spring Day of Caring at Warriors' Path State Park April 22

Monday, April 17, 2023 | 10:58am

Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground at Warriors’ Path State Park will be closed Saturday, April 22 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. for a Day of Caring/Day of Service volunteer cleanup at the park.

The event is organized by the Friends of Warriors’ Path State Park in partnership with Tennessee State Parks and several community groups. The park will remain open to visitors on April 22, but access to the playground will be restricted during the cleanup. The cleanup this year coincides with Earth Day, the worldwide observance of environmental protection. In case of rain, the playground cleanup will be rescheduled for Saturday, April 29.

“This has become a community event, and we are grateful to all the volunteers and organizations who help with the cleanup,” Park Manager Sarah Leedy said. “The playground is an outstanding attraction for families, and we want to maintain its special place in our visitors’ experience.”    

With the collaboration of local businesses and community groups, the day has been designated for several maintenance projects, including replenishing the rubber mulch in play areas, pressure washing the playground equipment, weeding the playground and rain gardens, restocking the sand island, and cleaning out the creek.

Organizers expressed a special thanks to the Kingsport Lions Club, Kiwanis Club of Kingsport, and Palmer Center Foundation for their support. Without their financial help, replacing all the interactive signage at the playground would not be possible. 

Sponsors donating goods and/or services include Food City, Hardee’s (Capstone Restaurants), McDonald’s (Faris Properties), Walmart Super Centers of Kingsport, and MyCroft Signs. 

Groups that help to organize the event include: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Celebration Church; Christ Fellowship Church; the City of Kingsport; 

Northeast Tennessee Master Gardeners; Dobyns-Bennett and West Ridge high school Key Clubs; ROTC’s from Dobyns-Bennett, Volunteer and Cherokee high schools; Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Achieves students from across the region; students from Milligan College and Northeast State Community College. Many of these groups have participated for the last 15 years.

Neighbors, churches, and community groups are invited to volunteer. Organizers hope to have approximately 150 or more volunteers participating. 

“Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground remains in such good shape after 17 years because of our volunteers,” said Mary Steadman, board member of support group Friends of Warriors’ Path. It takes a village. We are so thankful for the community support.”

Warriors’ Path was the first state park in the nation to provide a Boundless Playground. The complex includes an area for children ages 2-5, another for ages 5-12, a sand island and the a-“MAZE-ing” interactive area. It has an eight-station interactive Braille Trail, with the theme of C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” There is a fully accessible tree house where children can learn about the history of Warriors’ Path State Park and the native wildlife at the park. The playground draws over 165,000 visitors per year.

For more information about the project and to get involved contact Leedy at (423) 239-8531 or sarah.leedy@tn.gov, or Steadman at (423) 956-4330 or mesteadman@aol.com.

For more information about the park visit this linkFor more information about the playground visit this link.