Darrell’s Dream Playground at Warriors’ Path State Park Gets a Boost in Technology

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 | 01:43 pm
Darrell's Dream Playground at Warriors' Path Brings Classrooms Outdoors
Darrell's Dream Playground at Warriors' Path Brings Classrooms Outdoors
New Digital Capabilities Allow Teachers and Park Staff to Teach in “Boundless” Environment
KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke and the Friends of Warriors’ Path State Park announced today new wireless high-speed Internet capabilities at Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground, specifically designed to bring Tennessee’s classrooms outdoors.
Currently, teachers throughout East Tennessee take their classes to the playground for hands-on, curriculum-based learning experiences.   On any given day during the school year, hundreds of students will visit the playground and participate in a host of activities – all designed to create a better understanding of what they are studying in the classroom.  
Through a partnership with CenturyLink, educators can now more effectively teach classes from the playground with the addition of Internet access, accessible at the playground’s picnic pavilion, the main play area and the proposed Palmer Center Foundation Amphitheater site.   
“Having wireless Internet connection at Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground will make the facility even more user-friendly for Tennessee’s teachers,” said Fyke. “We appreciate CenturyLink for providing this service, along with the Friends of Warriors’ Path for their ongoing efforts. This dedication underscores how successful partnerships have made this incredible facility possible.”  
One of the many things that made the Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground partnership so appealing to CenturyLink is the facility’s accessibility to people with all capabilities, including those who are physically challenged.   According to CenturyLink Vice President Lottie Ryans, the partnership also perfectly matched her company’s key philanthropic focus on education.  
“By tying technology to the boundless outdoor classroom environment, teachers can easily use the Internet with all its available resources to more easily facilitate teaching,” said Ryans. “CenturyLink’s unifying principles follow the Golden Rule and all that it implies – treating all people with dignity, respect and fairness. Darrell’s Dream is about that equity for all people and offers the same opportunities for everyone regardless of capabilities.”
Educators and park staff are not the only individuals who will benefit from the wireless high-speed availability.   Busy parents, grandparents and caregivers who bring their children or grandchildren to the park can complete work online while watching their youngsters play.  
“Park Naturalist Marty Silver conducts a lot of classes about the environment and the flora and fauna in the park and now he can take his classes to the next level,” said Friends of Warriors’ Path President Betty DeVinney. “On a personal note, my grandsons love the playground and I take them often, but sometimes have to make a choice between play and a busy work schedule – now they can play and I can get a little work done, while still keeping a watchful eye on them.”  
Darrell’s Dream Boundless Playground is a place where children of all abilities can learn and play together. The Boundless Playground opened at Warriors' Path in April 2007, and is made possible through public-private partnerships.   Warriors' Path is the first state park in the nation to provide a Boundless Playground for visitors. The playground is supported by the Friends of Warriors’ Path, an organization that fosters conservation and educational efforts, while assisting the park in its efforts to better preserve and protect its existing facilities and resources.  
Warriors’ Path State Park sits on 950 acres and was named for the park’s proximity to the ancient war and trading path used by the Cherokee. The park is situated on the shores of TVA’s Patrick Henry Reservoir on the Holston River. It features camping, hiking, fishing, golf, boating, biking, swimming, picnic facilities and horseback riding. For more information about Warriors’ Path and Tennessee State Parks, please visit www.tnstateparks.com.
Based in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is a leading provider of high-quality broadband, entertainment and voice services over its advanced communications networks to consumers and businesses in 33 states. A Standard & Poor 500 company, CenturyLink is included among the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. For more information on CenturyLink, visit www.centurylink.com.