Dreams are about to come true for parents across North Texas as construction workers put the finishing touches on the new Dream Park in Fort Worth.
The new playground, which will be housed at Fort Worth’s Trinity Park, is designed to accommodate all children with a special emphasis on children with special needs. It's set to open April 15.
"Playgrounds are required to meet ADA (Americans Disability Act) standards, however those standards just really aren’t enough," Dream Park board member Rachael Churchill said.
The park was the dream of three Fort Worth women, Churchill, Sandy Mesch and Corrie Watson. They have worked for almost six years to make that dream a reality. They have raised almost $3 million, but still need $50,000 for the project to be complete.
"It’s going to be very emotional because this has been our project for so long,” Churchill said. "To see it all come together and see the children playing is going to be wonderful."
The playground equipment is designed to make sure children with special needs can comfortably use it.
-Swings that have hard shells and harnesses for children who need upper body support.
-A large slide designed for children who have cochlear implants and hearing devices. There is no static electricity that could short out devises and implants.
-A seesaw designed for children who are normally in wheelchairs.
"Having a playground where children of all abilities can play together not only is beneficial for children with special needs but as well as able-bodied children," Churchill said. "I feel that there is so much to learn from each other and realize that their differences are not so different."
"So much has been taken away from them. The Dream Park wants to give something back to them and that is the joy of play and the joy of togetherness," co-founder Corrie Watson said.
The women are excited for opportunities that both able-bodied children and siblings with special needs can all play together.
"They’ll be able to come to the playground with all their children really for the first time," Churchill said.
The park also makes it possible for other family members who have mobility challenges to have greater interactivity with kids at play.
"Our mom was in a wheelchair for most of the last part of her life and so being able to come to a playground and take my nephew - her grandchild was not really an option. Dream park allows that option," Watson said.
For more information or to make a donation visit: DREAM PARK