Johnston County

Benson library sidewalks get interactive makeover

One of the new play spaces on the sidewalks on Main and Railroad streets sides of the Mary Duncan Public Library in Benson.
One of the new play spaces on the sidewalks on Main and Railroad streets sides of the Mary Duncan Public Library in Benson. Courtesy of the Town of Benson

The sidewalks framing the Mary Duncan Public Library in Benson just got a little more playful.

The sidewalks on the Main and Railroad streets sides of the library now have colorful “play spaces” including panels for hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, spelling and math games.

“We are so proud of this innovative project because it brings outdoor play elements to a public space,” said Mayor William W. Massengill Jr. “Children can play on the way and not need to make a trip to a playground for fun and exercise.”

Benson applied for a grant for the sidewalk improvements. The Parks and Recreation Department submitted the “Sidewalk Play Spaces” concept as part of the KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge.

The Play Everywhere Challenge is a $1 million national competition that awards innovative ideas to make play easy, available and fun for kids and families across the U.S. Benson’ was awarded $10,000 for its project.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit “dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids,” according to Matthew Smith, Benson Parks and Recreation director. More than 1,000 applicants submitted project designs and 50 were chosen for funding.

Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett

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