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Universally Accessible Playground at First Colony Park

Impact Area: Health and Wellness, Social Equity
Region: South

Universally Accessible Playground at First Colony Park: A place where children of all abilities can play together in a safe environment.

$1,400 Raised out of $65,000
7 Donors
0 Days Remaining

About this project.

Universally Accessible Playground at First Colony Park 
The City of Sugar Land is hoping to partner with YOU to raise the remaining funds to build the first Universally Accessible Playground in the City. The Universally Accessible Playground at First Colony Park will provide a place where children of all ages, races, cultures and abilities can play together and foster friendships in a welcoming and safe environment where every child's unique qualities and abilities are recognized and appreciated.

Need
In the United States, 6.7% of children under the age of 18 have activity limitations. An accessible playground allows for increased mobility and provides recreational opportunity for children with disabilities to interact with siblings and their peers. This fosters community and understanding for all.

The First Colony Athletic Park is currently the home to the area’s baseball complex and an aging playground. As the existing playground equipment approaches the end of its useful life it is clear that it will soon need to be replaced. Replacing the existing playground equipment with the new, inclusive equipment will make a significant impact on the park and the community.

The First Colony Athletic Park already has a group of athletes who visit the park regularly and would love a place to play with other children. These children are part of the Dream League, a division of First Colony Little League. The Dream League roster is approximately 60 players with intellectual and/or physical disabilities. The Dream League and the City of Sugar Land have worked together to make the needed accessibility improvements throughout the baseball complex. This playground project will enhance these improvements in order to create a destination for all children and families to play together, even outside of baseball season.

Throughout the country, accessible and barrier-free playgrounds are becoming important community projects. The idea behind barrier free is simple: make the playground accessible for all abilities. Modifications are made to play equipment, walking surfaces, and other equipment in the park so everyone can play together and that every child, no matter the ability, can reach the highest play level.

Funding
The cost of an accessible playground is well above the standard playground equipment. The proposed playground and surfacing (5,500 sq. ft.) is estimated at $400,000 for construction. To date, approximately $335,000 has been pledged for this project. It is expected that construction will occur in the fall once the final funds are raised.

How will this impact your community?

Our goal is to provide a place where children can play together and foster friendships in a welcoming and safe environment where every child's unique qualities and abilities are recognized and appreciated. We firmly believe that all people – no matter the color of their skin, age, income level or ability – should have access to programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. This philosophy of social equity and access, which is upheld by all public parks and recreation, is the foundation that allows people to benefit from what public parks and recreation provides such as
improved health and restorative green space. Building this fully accessible playground increases opportunities for physical activity for all, promoting overall health and wellness by allowing for increased mobility and providing boundless recreational opportunities for children with disabilities to interact with siblings and their peers - fostering community and understanding for all.

About us!

About Sugar Land Parks and Recreation
Mission
The City of Sugar Land Parks & Recreation Department seeks to create and maintain unparalleled recreational opportunities and unique, high quality parks and public spaces enhancing our community, with exceptional customer service.

Vision
Sugar Land Parks & Recreation strives to provide safe, beautiful, inclusive and environmentally responsible parks & recreation facilities by becoming key contributors to creating destination activity centers, great neighborhoods, bicycle/pedestrian mobility and outstanding cultural, educational and recreational opportunities. In addition, the Department will play an integral role in the balanced development and redevelopment of the community by facilitating economic, cultural and tourism opportunities and will be a primary factor in the pride our citizens hold for Sugar Land.

About Sugar Land
Founded as a sugar plantation in the mid 1800s and incorporated in 1959, Sugar Land is located in Fort Bend County, 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston. Sugar Land is a full-service municipality providing police and fire protection, water / wastewater utilities, solid waste collection, curbside recycling, a regional airport, parks and recreation, public works, planning / zoning and other services.

Timeline

In October 2008, a master plan of First Colony Athletic Park was completed that identified areas targeted for improvement in the existing park. These improvements were prioritized in phases. One of these areas was an aging playground structure that was at the end of its useful life.

In 2010, construction plans were drafted for the First Colony Athletic Park - Phase 2 project – CIP PK0803. These plans, although complete in summer of 2010, were shelved and no funding was identified for construction.

In 2012, the City identified $200,000 that could be utilized for the project. It was then decided that an alternate means of funding must be used; grants and donations were solicited through the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation, a 501(c)3 foundation working to leave a legacy by enhancing Sugar Land's quality of life through facilitating sustainable, charitable, tax deductible donations in order to financially support activities and capital projects that benefit residents of Sugar Land. The Fort Bend Junior Service League, area Rotary Clubs, The George Foundation, Minute Maid, Macy's, Longhorn Steakhouse and other individuals began to donate.  Which brings us to where we are today... $65,000 away from breaking ground and starting construction. We are ready, we are set, we just need your help to hit go!!

Tanya Dannhaus
Administrative Manager

About Tanya Dannhaus

tdannhaus@sugarlandtx.gov