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Lake Junaluska receives new playground equipment


LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — On the first day of spring, laughter echoed around the grounds at Lake Junaluska as dozens of children explored the J.B. Ivey Playground. During the winter months, new playground equipment, including bucket toddler swings, a new climbing structure, and a tube slide to replace the current metal slide were installed at the Lake Junaluska playground.

“I grew up coming to the lake, so I played on the old playground, myself,” Meredith Moss, who was visiting from Franklin, Tenn., said. “I was thrilled when the playground was initially renovated. This is our second visit after the renovations, and I am so excited about the bucket swings. For a parent it’s a huge benefit to be able to have the bucket swings, especially for those who have younger children.”

Holly Hopper, a Waynesville resident, also expressed approval of the new additions.

“This is the first time in 2017 that we’ve come to the playground, but we typically come once a week in the summertime,” Hopper said. “We love the grassy area for kids to run, and as you can see, the new climbing structure is a hit. My son, Tommy, also loves the different rocky areas, especially when there is water. The playground becomes almost like a water park.”

Both families plan to bring their children back to enjoy the playground.

“The playground at Lake Junaluska is great because it helps the children build their strength and use their imaginations,” Moss said. “One of my daughter’s favorite things on the playground is the new spider web climbing structure. And of course, the slide is popular with all of the children.”

These improvements were made possible through funding by the Lake Junaluska Associates, a fundraising organization based at the lake.

“Additional equipment was installed in order to make the space more accessible to younger children,” Dr. Bob Bowling, president of the Lake Junaluska Associates, said. “We recently received two estate gifts, which we plan to use to complete a number of exciting projects, particularly those that create areas for family recreation. In addition to the playground updates, we plan to refurbish the floors and restrooms of the Nanci Weldon Gym and make other improvements to the nearby field.”

The Lake Junaluska Associates are partners with Lake Junaluska, and the group provides charitable support for timely capital projects. The Associates also funded playground renovations in 2014, which included replacing monkey bars, swings and other outdated equipment with natural landscapes and climbing structures.

“Lake Junaluska is grateful to partner with the Lake Junaluska Associates,” Jack Ewing, Lake Junaluska executive director, said. “Since the Associates were founded in 1968, the organization has made more than $3.4 million in improvements to the grounds and facilities at Lake Junaluska. Their love for Lake Junaluska continues to have a tremendous positive impact on the future of the lake, and we look forward to our continued partnership with them.”

More than 700 people from across the United States are members of the Lake Junaluska Associates. For more information on how to become an Associate or make a gift, visit or contact the Associates Office at

Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska, visit


Stephanie Drum
Lake Junaluska