Dream Park Fort Worth (DPFW), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, will gift the newly constructed Frank Kent’s Dream Park to the City of Fort Worth on April
11. A formal ribbon cutting celebration will be held at noon on April 15 at the playground. The privately funded inclusive playground is located in Trinity Park in the heart of Fort Worth.
As an inclusive, fenced playground, Frank Kent’s Dream Park goes above and beyond ADA guidelines to accommodate every child and guardian, regardless of their challenges and limitations. Features of the playground include rubber surfacing to allow easy access for those mobility impairments, dome structures that provide a quiet space for children with sensory processing disorders, a seesaw with a unique design and gentle rocking motion that invites kids and families of all ages and much more. Frank Kent’s Dream Park fosters play for children at no cost to the family.
“We are grateful to the City of Fort Worth, all of our donors, sponsors, and our team for helping make our vision a reality,” said Rachael Churchill, president of DPFW. “The outpouring of support, from buying a brick and donations to sharing our story on social media is a testament to our City’s need for an inclusive playground. It is with great excitement that we are now turning the park over to the City for the whole community to enjoy.”
DPFW’s board was formed in 2013 and is led by Rachael Churchill, Sandy Mesch of Mesch PLLC and Corrie Watson of Frank Kent Motor Company. They partnered with Schrickel, Rollins/PSC, an Arlington architecture and engineering firm, Landscape Structures Inc., a premier play equipment manufacturing company, and Dean Construction to build the park.
“Dream Park represents what Fort Worth strives to be, a generous, inclusive and active community where every child can thrive,” said Mayor Betsy Price, City of Fort Worth. “Opening Dream Park in the heart of our City, represents our vision for a better Fort Worth that all families can be proud of for
generations to come.”
For the last five years, DPFW has worked with the City of Fort Worth to design and construct this $3.1 million playground. The City provided approximately an acre of green space in Trinity Park for the playground, removing and relocating the existing playground equipment from the site. In October 2017, the City completed a new parking lot to accommodate 67 vehicles for visitors coming to the park. Grants and donations have been received from private foundations, philanthropic institutions, nonprofit organizations, businesses and individuals. Additionally, DPFW established a $250,000 safety surface endowment fund for the City to maintain the rubber surfacing.
Key features of the park include:
• Rubber surface that allows easy access for wheelchairs and walkers
• Swings with back support for children with low muscle tone
• Roller slide, which provides kids sensory stimulation through the application of deep-muscle pressure from the steel rollers. These rollers will not affect cochlear implants
• Sensory-rich environment including musical and parallel play elements
• ZipKroozTM zipline with two bays, one with a disc seat and one with a molded bucket seat with lock-inplace harness, so children with limited core strength can participate
• Ground-level elements, like the Sway Fun® glider with room for two wheelchairs, plus two large benches for other passengers
• We-saw,a new take on a traditional seesaw, with a unique design and gentle rocking motion that invites kids and families of all ages and abilities to participate • OmniSpin Spinner offers children of all abilities valuable vestibular sensory stimulation and encourages interactive play
• Cozy Dome, dome structures that provides a quiet space for over-stimulated kids
• A new parking lot, handicap accessible parking and extra wide sidewalks
• Over an acre of fenced play space to prevent children from leaving the area
For more information, visit dreamparkfw.org or facebook.com/dreamparkfw.