Back in 2011, Jenni Jensen’s six-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome broke her leg and she quickly realized the lack of accessibility for kids with disabilities provided by most area parks. In fact it was clear that children with special needs were not thought about at all in the design and build of public play spaces throughout most of Frisco. As a result, Jensen took action founding her own non-profit with the mission of providing kids and their families with a place everyone can enjoy safely and easily.
“In that time I got a glimpse of what [some] families to through everyday — my daughter could not play with her brothers and sister at the park! It broke my heart to think some children just couldn’t play together at the park [and instead] just have to watch,” Jensen says of the experience.
Hope Park blueprint designs feature various accommodations for those with disabilities, including rubber flooring, lower equipment and easy park access to those with specialized equipment.
“Kids in wheelchairs, kids in walkers and kids that have a bit of a stability problem will be able to go through the park without any problems whatsoever,” said Rene’ Sinclair, vice president of the Hope Park Frisco board of directors. “Grandparents in wheelchairs or walkers will benefit from this too — it’s completely accessible to all people.”
While first designed for a different location, Hope Park will be constructed within Frisco Commons next spring. The 17,000 square-foot park will host a ground breaking in late 2012 before holding a six-day community build event next spring. With 20% of the fundraising complete, Hope Park is on schedule to open in April, 2013.
For more information on Hope Park, visit its website at www.hopeparkfrisco.org or find it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hopeparkfrisco.