Editorial: Kingsport remains committed to healthy lifestyles

Editorial Board • Jun 30, 2020 at 10:30 PM

Money from the Tennessee Department of Health to help reduce obesity and diabetes has been put to good use in Kingsport as the first part of a three-year improvement plan for the Lynn View neighborhood.

The track around the football field at the Lynn View Community Center has been completely rebuilt and widened at a cost of $181,000, most of which came through the Project Diabetes grant. Over the next several years, a playground and basketball court will be added, breathing new life into what once was Sullivan County’s Lynn View High School, which opened 72 years ago.

The last high school graduating class at Lynn View was in 1980. The physical facilities served as Lynn View Middle School until 2003 and Tri-Cities Christian School until 2008. Kingsport acquired it in 2010, and it now serves as a satellite branch of the city’s Senior Center, offering meeting spaces, athletic leagues, summer camps and after-school programs as well as a game room and exercise and gym areas.

The track has not been in good shape, but it now is the city’s newest for walkers and joggers. You need only make a right turn onto Walker Street from Lynn View Drive north and park at the center. The track has been revamped and painted green with new white striping. The project also included a water fountain and water bottle refill station.

Kitty Frazier, manager of Kingsport’s Parks and Recreation Department, said the city is planning to start some new programming at the track such as a walking club and a track camp, perfect for residents looking to lose weight and improve their health. If interested, call (423) 343-9723 for more information.

Kingsport received a $450,000 Project Diabetes grant last year, the only community in Northeast Tennessee to do so. The funds are meant to be spent on projects that aim to help reduce diabetes and obesity and improve wellness initiatives within the community. The grant provides $150,000 a year for three years and has no matching portion.

The city received a similar grant in 2016, using those funds — along with $550,000 in additional city money — to improve and enhance Borden Park with two sets of new playground equipment, a paved and expanded walking trail, a resurfaced basketball court, and open plaza near Lamont Street.

Years ago the city made health and wellness a primary focus and has continued to invest in facilities for all residents, including those with special needs. The city just opened a $2.4 million Miracle Field at Brickyard Park with an adjacent new park area, providing children with mental and physical disabilities a place to come together and play ball, the only such facility between Roanoke and Chattanooga.

There are few communities Kingsport’s size with the city’s complement of parks, ball fields and related facilities, including its well-known Greenbelt, and we owe that to dedicated leadership that understands the importance of improving community health.

Give the track at Lynn View a try. We bet you’ll be back.

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