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Access for All

By March 25, 2019 April 3rd, 2019 No Comments

 Photos by Joyce Marshall

Devoted parents, passionate volunteers and dedicated fundraisers have made it possible for children with disabilities to enjoy playing sports. Or simply playing.

Fort Worth’s Frank Kent’s Dream Park, the fruition of five years of fundraising by Rachael Churchill, Corrie Watson and Sandy Mesch, opens April
15. One of Texas’ biggest inclusive playgrounds, the colorful and inviting spot in Trinity Park is filled with slides, swings, climbing features, musical elements, interactive panels and more. It includes 57,000 square feet of fenced play area and green spaces. The design goes far beyond Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines with wheelchair-friendly rubber surfacing and ramps. Churchill says that the playground, funded by private donations, will be gifted to the city of Fort Worth. To find it, enter Trinity Park from the main entrance on Fort Worth’s University Drive, and head north until you see it on the left; for more information, dreamparkfw.org. The playground will close temporarily April 22 as preparations for Mayfest begin, and will be open to festival attendees. It opens to the general public again on May 9.

We have three Miracle League fields (Arlington, Parker County and Southlake) that host young jersey-wearing athletes, some in wheelchairs, during the spring baseball season. Miracle League opened its Southlake field in September 2015.
Photo courtesy of Miracle League of Southlake

Grapevine boasts a colorful accessible playground called Casey’s Clubhouse in Dove Park. Built in 1998 by Debra and Louis Tridico, the project honored their late 7-year-old daughter, Casey, whose spinal muscular atrophy meant she had to use a motorized wheelchair. In 2013, after 15 years of heavy use, the playground was rebuilt bigger and better. Now, more than five years into its rebuild, Casey’s Clubhouse remains meticulously maintained and continues to serve its purpose as a cheerful place where all children can play together on slides, swings, climbing structures, a sit-down zipline and, of course, in the fully accessible clubhouse. 1509 Hood Lane, Grapevine.