NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
(Press release issued October 24, 2014)
Kids Kove Second Soil Sample Results In
Traverse City – Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation has received results from a second soil sampling for arsenic from Kids Kove, conducted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and analyzed by TestAmerica. “We are pleased that these results, from samples taken deeper in the soil this time, are well within residential limits of arsenic established by the DEQ,” said Kristine Erickson, Director of Parks and Recreation.
Kids Kove has been closed since September 24 as a precautionary measure, after the first round of three and four-inch-deep samples, analyzed by the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory, indicated elevated arsenic levels at the playground. Results were 19.9 per million, an amount less than the DEQ’s established limit of 37 parts per million for recreational areas, and higher than the DEQ limit for residential areas of 7.9 parts per million. Like so many other wood playgrounds built at the time, the 18-year-old Kids Kove structure is comprised of wood treated with Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) for preservation purposes.
To learn the depth and extent of arsenic contamination, Erickson said she then arranged for the DEQ to take additional samples of Kids Kove soil. On October 5, DEQ collected samples from around the Kids Kove structure and the perimeter of the play area. Results of these samples all are below the residential limit of 7.9 parts per million.
After compiling all of the soil sample results, the data indicates that the wood chips covering the play area have, over time, absorbed any arsenic produced from the CCA-treated lumber. “Now, our next steps will be to research costs to remove and replace the chips,” said Erickson. “In the meantime, Kids Kove will remain closed as a continued precautionary measure.”
A report with results about the structural integrity of Kids Kove also is pending. At the direction of the Parks and Recreation Commission and in response to the age and deterioration of the playground, Erickson hired an independent certified playground safety inspector to analyze the wood structures that comprise Kids Kove. Erickson said she expects the report to be submitted by Monday, October 27.
A special meeting of the County Parks and Recreation Commission about Kids Kove will be held on Thursday, October 30, at 6 p.m. in Second-floor Chambers at the Governmental Center, 400 Boardman, Traverse City. This meeting is open to the public.