Today is the opening day of the all-abilities park, formerly the site of Jack Carter Pool, in Plano. Plano City Council, Parks and Rec employees, Rotary Club members and families with kids came out for the ribbon cutting ceremony on April 24th.
Kids were running, sliding, swinging, jumping and playing giving their official seal of approval for the specially designed playground. The park is more than just slides and swings, but also includes elements that like giant marbles that can be moved, built in drums and other noise makers, plus extra squishy and soft ground instead of the usual mulch or rocks.
Mayor Harry LaRosiliere cut the ribbon after thanking the Parks and Rec team as well as the Plano Rotary Club who presented a check which helped fund $50,000 of the $1.9 million project.
“The Rotary Club donation allowed us to add more funding to the playground, which enabled us to take it beyond a typical neighborhood park playground. The park provides unique equipment that is specifically designed for children with special needs,” said Robin Reeves, director of the Plano Parks and Recreation Department. “Without the additional funding, it would have been difficult for us to provide this type of equipment within the project budget.”
A representative of Congressman Sam Johnson also presented the city of a flag that had flown over the United States capitol as congratulations for the project and bringing such a wonderful amenity to the city.
Located at 2601 Maumelle Drive near Schimelpfenig Middle School, the new playground within the park serves children with disabilities and includes experiences that involve movement and climbing as well as a mix of tactile, visual and auditory features, according to the City of Plano.
The new playground is designed for children of all abilities to play, learn and grow together and offers a variety of sensory experiences for healthy development. The 2.61-acre park includes ample parking, trail connections, shelters and facilities that include accessible restrooms for all.
The renovation project included converting the outdoor pool into a pond with a fountain, overlook plaza and trellis. The pool, which was built in 1981, was closed in 2014 following mechanical and design deficiencies.