Farmers Branch

Glow in the Dark Park Coming to Farmers Branch This Summer

Construction on Joya expected to begin in April and be completed by late August at Oran Good Park

Farmers Branch

This summer Farmers Branch plans to open a one-of-a-kind playground that glows in the dark.

Joya, which is Spanish for "jewel", will cover 18,000 square feet at Oran Good Park the corner of Valley View Lane and Tom Field Road and will include among the playscape a 27-foot rope sphere with six levels for climbing, swings and slides. The park will also have an obstacle course, a zip line with interactive lights, a spin zone with LED lights and glowing seating.

The park is designed to "come alive" at night with interactive features that glow, allowing kids and families to continue playing after sunset. A YouTube video of a rendering of the project shows the sphere playscape and other playgrounds enhanced by lighting effects after dark.

"When developing the vision and goal for Joya, stakeholders identified the goal of having longer use hours to expand programming opportunities, especially during the summer months when it is very hot during the day," city officials said in a statement.

Farmers Branch City Council members approved the park's concept in November 2021 and will pay for it with a combination of funds coming from the Federal American Rescue Plan Act ($4 million) and a grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ($750,000).

Since the park is lit at night, planners said they worked to make sure the park will meet dark sky guidelines as well as recommendations from the Audubon Society to protect migratory birds. A riparian buffer will be built adjacent to the creek to help manage runoff, erosion and pollution and to invite wildlife to the area.

City officials have not said what hours the park will be open, but that it would be adjusted so that hours, lighting times and light levels can be based on season, weather and community needs.

Construction will begin on Joya in April and is expected to be completed by late August.

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