Grand Prairie park for people of all abilities gains major sponsors

PlayGrand Adventures, Grand Prairie’s inclusive playground, soon to be under construction, that will serve the diverse needs of children and adults regardless of ability, received several major sponsorships at Tuesday night’s City Council Meeting.

Allan Beck, president and CEO of Baylor Orthopedic and Spine Hospital at Arlington, presented a $250,000 donation for the Adventure Zone, one of seven play zones within PlayGrand Adventures that will feature the highest-intensity play for all ability levels. The zone incorporates vibrant and whimsical play equipment, with a wide variety of play opportunities such as climbing, swinging, and spinning. Abundant shade and areas to socialize will be spaced throughout the playground project. This zone includes a play area specifically designed for toddlers with separated activities on a miniature scale.

Patrick Lawler, president and CEO of P. Lawler Enterprises and a Grand Prairie business owner, donated $50,000 toward a PlayScape called “Prairie Grass Nets.” This climbing piece resembling prairie wheat puff cocoons allows users to climb, socialize and interact with participants, especially those with mobility limitations.

Celina Cardenas Fleites, manager of public affairs for Atmos Energy Corporation, will presented the company’s $30,000 donation toward the Adventure Village, a future phase at PlayGrand Adventures. The Adventure Village play zone will reflect daily life in Grand Prairie and just about any town across this nation. With miniature sponsored everyday life destinations and historic city locations and features, this zone will promote learning about municipal safety as well as bike safety and daily life style activities.

More than $700,000 has been raised from fund raising campaigns and sponsorships including Stripe a Zone $50,000; American Resource Management $50,000; OpenAire $25,000; LOH Foundation $25,000; Freese & Nichols $12,500; and Halff Associates $10,000, as well as many individual donations. The Grand Prairie ISD has sponsored Miles for Smiles fun-raisers for the past two years totaling more than $70,000 in donations.

Combined with the city of Grand Prairie’s $2 million, the first phase of PlayGrand Adventures is expected to open late summer 2018 in the city’s Grand Central Park at SH 161 and Arkansas Lane, near the EPIC Mega-Recreation Center opening early 2018 and Epic Waters Year-Round Indoor Water Park opening late 2017.

“North Texas is home to more than 660,000 individuals living with a disability,” said Allan Beck, Chief Executive Officer of Baylor Orthopedic and Spine Hospital at Arlington. “PlayGrand Adventures will be an innovative destination playground for the region and will offer an opportunity for all to play, interact and develop skills in a fun, safe, outdoor environment. Baylor Arlington proudly supports these efforts and is excited to sponsor this unique inclusive playground.”

The ten-acre PlayGrand Adventures playground will feature a series of playgrounds and adventure areas ranging from high intensity to peaceful and quiet, and from modern and colorful to rustic and nature-themed. The unique playground concept was designed to enhance the sensory, physical, cognitive, and social abilities of those who enjoy the playground. The Adventure Zone, sponsored by Baylor Arlington, will join other PlayGrand pods including Adventure Hill, Tranquil Adventures, Adventure Challenge, Exploration Zone, Adventure Sports, Adventure Village and Adventure Stars.

“The City of Grand Prairie appreciates the partnership of all our sponsors toward this worthy project,” said Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen. “With donations like these from Baylor, Stripe-A-Zone, Atmos and Lawler Enterprises, we get that much closer to opening this important park.”

Playground Adventures has been in the planning and design process for more than three years. The development of PlayGrand Adventures will be in a series of phases with the first phase anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2018. The City of Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department is developing the park as a collaborative effort that includes professionals and parents skilled at working with children with special needs. One hundred percent of all donations and contributions will go directly into the construction of PlayGrand Adventures, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit foundation. For additional information or to donate to the project, please go to www.playgrandadventures.com.