Inspirational playground paintings

SNEEDVILLE / ROGERSVILLE — When you get a chance, visit Swift Park, in Rogersville, and Sneedville City Park, in Sneedville, to see the recently completed playground paintings that encourage physical activity among the children who visit the parks.

The paintings were inspired by employees of Hancock and Hawkins (Rogersville) Health Departments.

In the past few weeks, a brightly colored caterpillar has been painted at both parks as well as a hopscotch at Swift Park.

“We are grateful to have the support of the Hawkins Co. Chamber of Commerce and the Sneedville City Council to complete this fun project that supports play among local children,” said Hancock and Hawkins County Public Health Director Garnet Southerland. “A video of children playing on the painted caterpillar at Sneedville City Park has already posted on the Hancock Strong Facebook page.”

Health department staff from Rogersville and Sneedville have additional stencils and plan in the coming weeks to add activity stations for tasks such as jumping jacks and jump rope, Four Square game outline and Copy Cat, a game with footprints that is similar to hopscotch.

“The health departments provide traditional services such as the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program, family planning services, immunizations and dental care but they also carry out activities in the community to prevent diseases caused by inactivity, poor nutrition or tobacco use,” said Built Environment Coordinator Ashley Davies. “When we make changes to the environment that encourage physical activity in a fun and safe way, people are more likely to do things that benefit their health.”

Public health departments are open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. To learn more about services or to make an appointment call the Hawkins Co. Health Department in Rogersville at 423-272-7641 or the Hancock Co. Health Department at 423-733-2228.