New program opens neighborhood school playgrounds to the public this summer
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tennessee (WDEF) – As of right now, all Hamilton County elementary school playgrounds are open for recreational use by by both kids and adults.
It’s part of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health department STEP ONE program effort to increase physical activity among residents.
Elementary school playgrounds now have signs like this one to let the public know that there is an open use policy for everyone, including adults.
Organizers say now that schools are closed for the summer, this open use policy make is easier for kids and adults to stay in shape while having fun outdoors.
Step One program manager John Bilderback tells us “This came out of some community discussions about what would be great ways to increase access to playgrounds without us possibly having to purchase new equipment. So a big part of it was about making it easy for people in the neighborhoods to get to playgrounds and use them.”
Health Department officials say the open use policy comes at a time when 66-percent of adults in Hamilton County are overweight or obese.