Tiverton Town Farm is an outdoor community center that has provided recreational activities for area residents for over 30 years. Located on approximately three-square miles, it houses tennis courts, a softball field and baseball fields. Until recently, it also housed a wooden playground which had been maintained via dedicated town funds and volunteer support. However, during the summer of 2018 the primary playground structure was removed due to age and structural concerns, leaving a substantial void where a vital resource once existed.
Through a combination of grants and contributions we seek to replace that playground with one that provides play areas for children aged 2-5 and 5-12 and adds two additional recreational elements for older groups. Specific focus will be given to using sustainable and eco-friendly materials as part of the construction. Additionally, we also would incorporate accessible equipment and sensory elements to create a fully inclusive environment that will be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
The first additional element would be a fitness park at the south end of Town Farm, adjacent to the tennis courts. This location is ideal as the lighting located at that location can be turned on at any time, providing opportunities for exercise at any hour of the day or night.
The second additional element would be the modification of two of the four existing tennis courts into six full-time pickleball courts. There is already an active pickleball community in Tiverton and while pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the country, the availability of permanent facilities is limited. It is our expectation that this resource would be utilized by residents from other communities as well.
It should also be noted that the Tiverton Recreation Commission fully intends to develop ongoing, town-supported, recreational programs that can be used to support these new resources and encourage use by residents.
Phase One: The RI DEM Grant
On December 11th, 2019 the Tiverton Town Farm Renovation Committee submitted an 82-page grant application to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) for an Outdoor Recreation Grant. The grant application included letters of support from fifteen local and national organizations and meeting minutes from the Tiverton Town Council meeting where they expressed their unanimous support for this project.
The grant request was for $375,000, which was considered a "large Recreation Development Project" according to the DEM. As a result, if Tiverton were to be awarded the grant, we would be responsible for a 20% match..
On April 24, 2020, the Town Farm Renovation Committee was notified that we had been awarded the grant! In the words of Janet Coit, Director of of the RI DEM, "Competition for this grant round was very strong and your project was considered exceptional!"
Phase Two: Playground (Completed by 7.4.2021)
The playground will include both a play area for 2-5 years olds and 5-12 year olds. It will be designed with accessibility in mind and the "crown jewel" will be the center structure which will stand over 30' tall.
Phase Three: Outdoor Fitness Area
The outdoor fitness area will feature a circuit training course that provides a variety of exercise opportunities for people of all abilities, interests and experiences. The Tiverton Recreation Commission intends to utilize this area for programming.
Phase Four: Six Pickleball & Two Tennis courts
One of the fastest growing sports in the US, Pickleball is something that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Where there existing tennis courts are we intend to install six pickleball courts and two new tennis courts.