New Dream Park helps make Fort Worth a better, more inclusive community for future generations
On Monday, April 15, the long-held dream of three passionate community members will finally be realized with the ribbon-cutting celebration for Frank Kent’s Dream Park, a play space custom-designed for children of all abilities to explore, learn and play.
Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Trinity Park, this 57,000 square-foot playground is set to become the city’s largest, as well as one of the largest play spaces of its kind in the state. Its size is only surpassed by its ambitious, inclusive vision: a place where kids of all abilities can share adventures together.
The state-of-the-art park far exceeds guidelines established by the Americans With Disabilities Act: its amenities include poured-in-place rubber surfacing for wheelchairs and individuals with limited mobility, adaptive swings for toddlers and children with low muscle tone, a stainless-steel roller slide that won’t short-out kids’ hearing devices, and much more. In addition, there are interactive and musical elements scattered throughout the playground to provide a truly sensory-rich environment that sparks curiosity and imagination.
This park couldn’t have arrived at a better time for the 15th largest city in the country. According to the Texas Workforce Investment Council, 203,041 individuals in Tarrant County have a disability. Approximately 29,000 students in Tarrant County are in need of special education services, according to Growing Up in North Texas’ community assessment.
A dream becomes a reality
The development of the park has involved an ongoing collaboration between dedicated community members Rachael Churchill, Sandy Mesch and Corrie Watson, and the City of Fort Worth. Almost $3 million was raised for the park’s creation through grassroots fundraising efforts, bolstered through generous contributions from the title sponsor Frank Kent and many other community organizations.
“Dream Park represents what Fort Worth strives to be: a generous, inclusive and active community where every child can thrive,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “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.”
“Fort Worth’s park system has existed for over a century, and we are thrilled to add to that legacy through the creation of this Dream Park,” added Richard Zavala, director of Fort Worth’s Park & Recreation Department.
“This project is a testament to what can be accomplished through cooperation and the pursuit of a shared dream. Moreover, it perpetuates the legacy of community giving in support of Trinity Park, which has benefitted from the generous contributions of many organizations throughout its history. I am certain that the project sponsors’ deep compassion, generosity, and determination to build a more inclusive Fort Worth will echo in the happy smiles of the children – and their caregivers – who visit this park for many years.”
The Dream Park’s playground equipment was provided by Landscape Structures, an industry leader in creating inclusive play environments, and Dean Construction. The playground itself was designed by Arlington-based Schrickel, Rollins & Associates.
Frank Kent’s Dream Park joins Patricia La Blanc Park in southwest Fort Worth as the city’s second inclusive playground.
Dedication information and Mayfest schedule
The public is invited to the ribbon-cutting celebration of Frank Kent’s Dream Park at noon Monday, April 15. Kona Ice will be on-site from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. giving away free shaved ice.
The playground will remain open through Easter weekend, April 21, before temporarily closing on Monday, April 22, to accommodate preparations for the 47th annual Mayfest festival. The playground will be open to all Mayfest attendees during the festival, and will reopen to the public on May 9.