Partnership with Pulaski County Public Library board brings playground to the community that will enhance educational development for children
SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (October 23, 2020) — Somerset Mayor Alan Keck introduced city council and Pulaski County Public Library board members Thursday to the city’s newest park, an inclusive play space designed to meet the physical, sensory and socialization needs of others.
Located at the corner of Spring and Maple streets downtown behind the library’s Main Street branch, Somerset’s sensory park was built by Miracle Recreation, one of the largest manufacturers of commercial outdoor playgrounds and recreational equipment in the country.
Called the Miracle Museum, this is Miracle Recreation’s first sensory park installation in the United States.
The park features equipment designed to appeal to multiple senses, making the play experience richer by engaging children more fully in play and enhancing cognitive development, fine motor skills, language development and self-awareness. Studies prove sensory play experiences are essential for brain development in all children. For those on the autism spectrum, with ADHD or other sensory needs, this playground equipment can provide important exposure to sounds, textures and pressures that help with sensory sensitivity.
“It is crucial we stay focused on improving quality of life for our residents and giving them opportunities to improve their well-being physically, mentally and spiritually,” Keck said. “Investing in our parks is an important part of that effort, as is taking care of, and being sensitive to, people whose needs are different from our own.”
Keck said he brought the council and library board together to see the equipment first-hand and learn more about the need for this type of space, but to also celebrate the partnership that made the park possible. Library board members voted earlier this year to issue a long-term lease to the city for the park property at $1 per year.
Pulaski County Library Director Charlotte Keeney said having access to recreational areas like this one is important to a child’s development — and that is central to the library’s mission.
“The library board and I would like to thank city council and Mayor Keck for the vision of adding a sensory park,” Keeney said. “Pulaski County’s children are important for a thriving library. Providing educational and recreational areas are necessary for them to grow. This park is a wonderful addition to the library campus.”
Keck said he appreciates the council and library board for being supportive of new recreational experiences in Somerset.
“I am so grateful to our city council members for trusting me and the city team to bring these needed amenities to our residents, and to the library board for wanting to be a part of that effort by leasing us the property,” Keck said. “So many parents of children with sensory needs have asked me when there will be a place for their children to play in Somerset. I am thrilled to be able to tell them now that there is.”