New EMS Family Playground officially opens

by May 11, 2023NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments


One Feather Asst. Editor


CHEROKEE, N.C. – Kylex Pheasant, a youth member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, cut the ribbon as the brand-new EMS Family Playground opened officially in the Yellowhill Community on the afternoon of Thursday, May 11.  The facility, which will be under the management of the Cherokee Recreation program, is located adjacent to the EMS Building off of Acquoni Road.

Surrounded by tribal leaders and officials of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Kylex Pheasant cuts the ribbon to officially open the EMS Family Playground in the Yellowhill Community on the afternoon of Thursday, May 11. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photo)

“The most valuable resource of any civilization is its children,” said Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed.  “We must invest in the future generation’s mental, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. Projects like this amazing new playground will ensure that our children have access to fun, safe, family-oriented, outdoor play places.”

“Today, fewer and fewer children are spending time outdoors engaged in physical activities. I’m so grateful that our community members will have the opportunity to bring their children to this beautiful playground.”

He thanked everyone involved in bringing the playground to its completion and gave a special thanks to former Wolftown Rep. Chelsea Taylor.  “When she was on Council, she put a resolution in for more playgrounds for our children. She wanted to make sure that they were ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)-compliant.”

Chief Sneed concluded by saying, “I look forward to seeing many memories being made by the families who will play here.”

Vice Chief Alan B. Ensley commented, “I used to live just across the river over here and would walk in the evenings. There would always be kids playing in the first playground…There’s going to be memorable memories made here…kids and families having birthday dinners in the pavilion. It’s just a great place to have a playground.”

“I think this is great. It’s a great place for it, and I know all the kids and families will enjoy it.”

Kamiyo Lanning, Cherokee Recreation manager, said the playground will be open from dawn to dusk.  “We also appreciate Beanstalk Builders for their original work in meeting our requirements for an ADA-compliant playground. The owner, Mike, was great to work with and understood the needs we have for our community.”

“The natural wood design of the playground is intended to be the start of matching the architectural design of the tribal master plan.”

Lanning also related that Kevin Nations, Cherokee Recreation maintenance and grounds supervisor, is getting a certificate in playground safety inspection and has spoken to the builders to put maintenance plans in place.  She noted, “He has a stockpile of extra parts for any repairs.”