This park was the very first of this kind that we have been to. The neat thing that I have learned as I read up on this park was that it is the first inclusive park in the nation. How cool is it that it started right here in our own backyard? This playground was named as a National Demonstration Site for meeting best practices for inclusive playgrounds by Playcore. When we first got there the kids, as well as us adults, were amazed by the size and features of this park.
We first headed over to the music area where the children tried their hand on the outdoor instruments, they had available. It was a great sensory area that has great games for kids with Down syndrome, autism and other special needs. After that, we headed over to the swings where they had neat inclusive swings that have an overhead safety harness which is great for children of varying abilities and sizes.
We then headed over to the jungle gym area that had all types of levels of challenge with a walking bridge that ramped up from the ground and is wide enough for wheelchair accessibility. The kids played in this area for the longest time before we all headed over to the other parts of the park to explore more.
The first place we headed to was the track that want around the field. We found some fitness stations sprinkled around the trail and all the kids tried out the pushup station. I tried to do one, and embarrassingly was not able to complete one. I need to work on this, but I am glad to say my kids did great. We then headed over to their functioning water fountain because everyone was parched. The kids kept saying how lucky we were to have the fountain, as we usually always bring water bottles and we hardly ever see a fountain. As the water fountain is also on the trail, we kept going on the trail paralleling the soccer field that is at a lower elevation than the main part of the park. The kids made sure to take advantage of this elevation change and ran up and down the hill to get to the field and also rolled down the hill.
Down in this soccer “valley”, there were some soccer goals, and the 4 year-old noticed the small waterfall coming from the railroad track area. We call ran cutting through the field to get to the water feature and climbed up the rip rap wall to get to the top. At the top we found the drainage creek that fed the water fall, which ran under the railroad bridge. The children spent a while up there exploring the water, rocks and plants in and along the creek. We then headed back down into the valley and followed the manmade channel that came from the waterfall to a large tunnel. Here the kids begged dad to enter and see what was in there, and they followed behind like little ducklings screaming, “daddy, what do you see”, as they could no longer see him in the darkness. Soon thereafter, the little ones returned to the playground and the older two girls went and played in the leaves and collected and analyzed rocks for fossils (which they left in the park). This has been one of our favorite parks when it comes to playgrounds and the kids did not want to leave, but naptime and lunch time were approaching fast.
On top of the amazing inclusive playground that is equipped with wheelchair accessible bridges, easy to navigate on groundcover, and inclusive swings, they also had a great sensory area. When I was over with the older girls in the leaves, we heard someone playing a nice song on the outdoor xylophone and we ran over to find an adult playing on it with much passion and bliss. It was cool to see that the adults were also enjoying the sensory area. There was a short-paved trail that went around a field where people were jogging and walking when we arrived. Our oldest daughter loves dogs and talked to every dog walker out there about their dogs and made sure to ask if she could pet them. One owner even let her walk their dog as they chatted. Around the trails here was a tennis court, baseball area, fitness stations, and a water fall. As mentioned earlier, down in the valley of the park there is a large field for playing soccer. Located just off the parking lot is a small elevated gazebo with seats and grills.
Nature: The only more natural-ish area we found was the area around that small creek that went under the train bridge on the other side of the soccer field. When you are in that spot and are squatted down exploring the rocks and critters in the water, it is easy to forget where you are. But as it goes, it was a park with wide open spaces mostly covered in grass with a handful of large oaks and other deciduous trees that line the paved path.
Neighborhood: The edge of the Hulen Bend Estates and the Wedgwood neighborhood.
Address: 6300 Granbury Cut Off St, Fort Worth, TX 76132
Latitude: 32.654360 Longitude: -97.407630
Trails:. The main paved trail is about .38 of a mile. But if you could add .23 mile if you go around playground and parking lot, and an additional .35 miles if you walk around the perimeter of the soccer field.
Acreage: 15 acres
Amenities: Inclusive playground, sensory area, tennis court, baseball area, soccer field, fitness stations, small pavilion.
Parking: There is decent sized parking lot that can hold over 30 vehicles.
Playground Details: Inclusive playground, inclusive swing, tire swing, merry-go-round, see saw, sensory area, musical instruments.
Ideas of things to do: Picnic, fly a kite, kickball, soccer game, birthday party, play on the hills, ride a bike on the small trail with small kids, explore.
History: The park was established in 1986 and was the first inclusive park in the nation.
Future: Though I could not find any future plans for this park, Fort Worth is in the process of building a larger inclusive park called Dream Park that should be completed by the Spring of 2019.
Restrooms: There is no outdoor restroom facility. However, there was a port-o-potty available.