Charleston News

August 16, 2019

City of Charleston Receives Shade Structure Grant

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The City of Charleston and Growing a Healthy Charleston have been awarded a Shade Structure Grant from the American Academy of Dermatology. The grant will provide funding for the purchase and installation of a permanent shade on the large play structure located at Charleston City Park next to city hall on Main Street.


Misty Hawkins with Growing a Healthy Charleston explains why applying for the AAD grant was important for our community, "One of the goals of GHC is to increase access to physical activity within our community.  With the addition of the shade structure, children of all ages will have more outdoor time to create safe and healthy memories with friends and family."          


Since its launch in 2000, the AAD’s Shade Structure Grant Program has awarded funding for 368 shade structures across the country, providing shade for more than 880,000 individuals each day. Fort Smith dermatologist Sandra M. Johnson, M.D., a member of the AAD, sponsored Growing a Healthy Charleston’s grant application.


Unprotected exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can increase your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Seeking shade is an easy way to protect yourself from the sun and help prevent skin cancer.


In addition to seeking shade, the AAD encourages everyone to protect themselves from the sun by wearing protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses, and using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. For more information on skin cancer prevention, visit the AAD website SpotSkinCancer.org.


The installation of the shade structure is planned for early fall. Upon completion, a dedication ceremony and sun safety awareness event will be held at the City Park on Main Street.