Mayor Pat Brayton officiated the ribbon-cutting and dedication of the new playground at Tom Varn Park with several other city officials and members of the Brooksville Fire Department and the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).
Sparky showed up for a special appearance at the event on Thursday, April 14, 2022. It had begun to rain, but we suspect it was Sparky who made the clouds detour so 2 busloads of students from Challenger K-8 could enjoy the new playground. Sparky assisted the Mayor and City Manager Ron Snowberger in the ribbon-cutting.
The modernized playground features ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible swings and other amenities that can be enjoyed by anyone. The fence surrounding the playground has been updated as well, with one entrance wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.
The cost for the playground totals $150,000, funded partially by a $112,500 grant from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP). The City of Brooksville matched the remaining $37,500. The fence has been funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) at $11,000.
The original playground was constructed primarily of wood in March of 1990 at a cost of approximately $50,000. At that time, it was sponsored by the Junior Service League. According to a press release by the city, more than 1,700 community volunteers built the 10,000-square-foot wooden playground over the course of approximately five days.