True to its name, Frank Kent’s Dream Park, a new playground for all abilities set to open in Fort Worth this spring, is making kids’ and parents’ dreams come true.
Located in the heart of Cowtown at Trinity Park, Dream Park’s structures are brightly colored, evoking a dreamlike fantasy with loopy designs and mini houses sitting atop the play equipment––think a Dr. Seuss aesthetic. Colorful bold letters spelling out “dream” stand welcoming kiddos into the park.
But what makes this park special is that it’s tailored for kids of all abilities, including those with sensory and physical challenges; amenities meet (or exceed) Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines. At most parks, wheelchairs would hinder kids’ ability to play alongside their friends. Dream Park is equipped with a rubber surface, allowing for easy wheelchair and walker access, and play designs like the Sway Fun glider, which has space for two wheelchairs.
Swings have back support, for littles who might have limited core strength. Slides provide deep-muscle pressure from steel rollers, stimulating the senses. And the We-Saw, an innovative take on the seesaw, uses a gentle rocking motion, staying away from the abrupt movement of this traditional ride. “It’s a feet level, so if you have a wheelchair you can transfer [over easily] and it has a hard back for support,” shares Rachael Churchill, president and board member of Dream Park. Plus, dome structures throughout the playground provide quiet spaces for kiddos who might be over-stimulated.
The park will feature a pavilion you can rent through the city (birthday parties, anyone?), picnic tables, dispersed benches and three shade structures to provide relief from those sunny summer days. An iron fence also surrounds the park. “[We wanted] to give parents a little bit of piece of mind, knowing that their children are somewhat contained,” explained Churchill.
The list of all-ability features goes on. Construction of the park was led in partnership with the City of Fort Worth, Landscape Structures and Dream Park board members Churchill, Sandy Mesch and Corrie Watson. Churchill was inspired to create Dream Park after visiting the all-inclusive Possibility Playground in Wisconsin with her son. “I just loved the concept,” she said. “I really feel like it’s needed in our community.” To date, Dream Park has received more than $3 million in donations.
Dream Park’s inclusivity allows kids to play without restrictions and have an all around fun time. “This will give the opportunity for parents to take all of their children, where they are all able to play,” says Churchill.
The playground will open for a weeklong sneak preview from April 15 through Easter, April 21. Following the holiday, the park will be closed for Fort Worth’s 47th annual Mayfest and will reopen on May 9.
2401 University Drive, Fort Worth.