TOP PHOTO: In its day, the swimming pool at Cove Lake State Park was the gathering place.

The Cove Lake swimming pool in a photo taken on Monday.

CARYVILLE, TN. (WLAF) – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has announced plans for a learning playscape, a new year-round outdoor recreation feature, at Cove Lake State Park. The learning playscape will be constructed on the site of the swimming pool which was closed following the 2021 season.

The nature-based playscape will combine the fun of a play area with the opportunity to learn and appreciate the outdoors and natural environment. Research shows children thrive on many levels when they are provided outdoor education. Cove Lake State Park’s playscape will help children connect with nature with a hands-on experience.

The swimming pool was closed after the 2021 season.

“We always look for the best ways to serve our parks visitors, and we are excited about this feature at Cove Lake State Park,” said Greer Tidwell, TDEC’s deputy commissioner for Conservation. “The playscape will be available throughout the year, and we look forward to having families enjoy this new asset.”

Work is expected to begin this year on the site, including equipment, surfacing, and ADA-compliant design. The project has been approved by the State Building Commission and will replace the swimming pool at the site. The pool closure was announced in December 2021.

Activities will once again have folks spend time on the site of the old pool.

Tennessee State Parks officials held a public meeting at the park to discuss ideas for recreation proposals for the park, its mission, and community. Park management and staff also contributed their input.

Tennessee State Parks determined that investing funds into a desired and fiscally responsible outdoor recreation feature for use year-round is the best path to maximize the park’s benefit to the community and the investments made on behalf of taxpayers.

In its day, this was one of the most active venues in the county from June through August.

Cove Lake State Park’s 606 acres are in a beautiful mountain valley on the eastern edge of the Cumberland Plateau. Scenic nature trails lead through a diversity of wetlands and woodlands offering wildlife viewing. A paved walking/bike trail provides easy access to all park facilities. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 8/15/2023- 6AM)