We Have a Vision for a Healthier Paducah.
This vision includes access to a variety of recreational opportunities accessible by ALL of Paducah area residents. Healthy living is a lifestyle and one that should be available to all individuals throughout their lifespan regardless of age, gender, physical ability and/or socioeconomic status.
Communities thrive when its residents have access to parks and recreational facilities. Well maintained and promoted parks and recreational facilities are shown to increase the percentage of residents who exercise at least three times per week by 25%. These individuals are likely to adopt additional healthy habits which lead to overall well-being.
The availability of parks and recreational facilities are often among the most significant factors cited as part of community livability studies. If Paducah desires to progress while attracting new industry and talent, it must offer its residents – current and future – access to resources and facilities that improve the quality of life for all who choose to call Paducah Home.
This is why Friends of the Parks Paducah was founded. This is a grassroots effort to unify our residents among a common goal: the health and well-being of the Paducah community.
… a healthy park system is a critical component of the future of Paducah and is essential in forming a healthy economic base for the Paducah Area.
…Paducah’s parks and recreation facilities should be accessible by all and contribute to the health & well-being of all residents.
Established in 2019, The Friends of the Parks Paducah mission is to work to further inspire, educate, and promote healthy living in Paducah-McCracken County.
We work in conjunction with our city and county governments to maintain the viability of our new facilities.
Directors & Officers
As her daughters became more involved in sports and specifically swimming, she realized the obvious need for additional swim lanes in Kentucky’s Region 1. After much research and many discussions with private and governmental entities, it became apparent that a larger vision to improve the overall health and well-being of the citizens—especially the youth— of Paducah was necessary. Melanie partnered with other like-minded health enthusiasts, Amanda Esper and Jackie Smith, to form Friends of the Parks whose goal is to inspire, educate, and promote healthy living in Paducah and McCracken County. Their first priority is to assist in the city’s efforts to build and maintain a state of the art aquatic center and recreational center, as well as outdoor sports fields.
Amanda is a mother of three and co-owner of Barre, Co., a local fitness facility.
A lifelong resident of Paducah, Jackie Smith is a graduate of a Paducah Tilghman High School and Murray State University where she studied accounting.
Jackie has served on many boards including Civic Beautification and Dogwood Trail Chairman, Lourdes Foundation, and Paducah Swim Team Board. During her five years as a board member, she developed a real passion for the sport after watching the many benefits of swimming impact not only her daughter but many other children as well. Although her child is now an adult she realizes the tremendous benefits of swim; Heath, safety focus, self discipline and self esteem are all positively elevated from swim. It is her desire to share the opportunity to all children and adults in the area.
Heather is the Project Manager at Greater Paducah Economic Development. Heather works each day to recruit new companies to our community, retain and expand our current businesses.
Dr. Blair Tolar
Blair is a native of Paducah. He and his wife, Rheanel, returned to Paducah in 2004. They’re the proud parents of 4 children.
Blair has been a parent and coach of travel baseball teams for his sons. His experience of leaving his hometown to participate in tournaments made him realize that Paducah should be the place where families come for athletic events. Whether it’s baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball or swimming, he wants visitors to see what Paducah has to offer.
Have you ever driven across the state and wondered
“Why can’t Paducah have this?”
Join us in making Paducah’s athletic facilities state of the art!
Your donation will help us build:
Heated Recreation Pool
Indoor Walking Trail
Updated Soccer Fields
New Softball & Baseball Fields
Copyright 2019 | Friends of the Parks Paducah | Paducah, Kentucky